SENATOR Pia Cayetano has slammed the non-inclusion of a number of team sports from the team bound for the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, putting the blame on the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission’s "defeatist" selection policy.
In a privilege speech days after the basketball team’s successful campaign in the Fiba-Asia Championship, Cayetano said other national athletes are deprived the chance to shine internationally like Gilas, no thanks to sports officials' decision to send only sure gold-medal winners to the December Games.
Cayetano cited the likes of the Under-23 football team, the women’s football squad called the Malditas, and the women’s basketball team which he said have been deprived by the POC-PSC criteria.
“I find this latest policy of our two sports governing bodies unacceptable and defeatist,” Cayetano said. “As a sports enthusiast and former national athlete, I know for a fact that an athlete thrives in competition.
“Proper training, practice and discipline can enhance an athlete’s skills, but it is in actual competition where the athlete can fully blossom to develop his or her potential, and even surpass his or her previous performance,” said Cayetano.
Recently, the women’s national team and the Malditas visited Cayetano for a courtesy call as they seek help for their inclusion in the SEA Games-bound contingent.
Cayetano isn’t ruling out an investigation into the situation.
“I am filing a resolution to look into the country’s preparations for the 2013 SEA Games, including the reported exclusion from the national delegation of national athletes in various sports competitions due to the decision of the POC and the PSC to send only athletes who, in their own narrow criteria, have the potential to bring home a gold medal for the country,” said Cayetano.