THE Philippine boxing team shrugged off the threats of the novel coronavirus and is now in Thailand for its two-week training camp as it gears for the coming Asia-Oceania Olympic qualification three weeks from now in Amman, Jordan.
The seven-man team plus five coaches and four support staff left for Bangkok early this week and settled in a city outside of the Thai capital where they will be camped until Feb. 25th.
According to the University of Southampton WorldPop team, Thailand topped the 30 high-risk countries prone to coronavirus outbreak based on domestic population movement and international air travel data.
But Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson assured that the federation has taken all the necessary precaution and steps to ensure the safety of the team.
“Very secluded yung lugar kaya there’s no worry,” said Picson.
Part of the team in Bangkok include world champion Nesthy Petecio and Eumir Marcial, who were among the advanced party, Carlo Paalam, Ian Clark Bautista, James Palicte, Irish Magno, and Riza Pasuit.
The coaching staff meanwhile, is composed of Ronald Chavez, Nolito ‘Boy’ Velasco, Elmer Pamisa, Reynaldo Galido, and Australian coaching consultant Don Abnett.
The team also has with it two physical therapists, a masseur, and a masseuse courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Two more boxers are joining them in Rogen Ladon and Mario Fernandez by next week should they be issued medical clearance for their respective injuries.
“Pagaling na naman pareho, but we just make sure na cleared na ng doctors para mag-spar,” said Picson of Ladon (foot injury) and Fernandez (eye).
The team will return to Manila on Feb. 26 and then travel to Jordan on Feb. 28 for the qualifier.
The Tokyo Olympic qualifier was originally set Feb. 3 to 14 in Wuhan, China, but had to be moved to another country as the Chinese city has been identified as the center of the coronavirus outbreak.