PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia expects ‘surprises’ from team sports including the celebrated Gilas Pilipinas, in the forthcoming Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
Garcia, who also serves as the country’s Chef De Mission to the Asiad, expressed optimism about the chances of team sports particularly the men’s basketball squad that will be coming fresh from its stint in the Fiba-World Cup in Spain prior to the Incheon Games.
“We would have some very good surprises,” said Garcia of the country’s campaign in the quadrennial meet set Sept. 19 to Oct. 4.
Gilas Pilipinas qualified to the world championship after a runner-up finish in the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship last year. It will be the first appearance in the world stage for the national team since 1978.
No less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan has standing orders for Gilas to win nothing but the gold medal in Incheon.
“They (SBP) are getting excited for the Asian Games,” said Garcia.
Aside from basketball, Garcia also sees a good showing from the country’s rugby (Volcanoes) and women's softball (Philippine Blu Girls) teams -- two of 36 other sports included in the Asiad calendar of events.
“We have a very good team in rugby as well as in women’s softball. The team events will increase our chances in the Asian Games,” said Garcia.
The PSC chairman said the government sports agency and the Philippine Olympic Committee are in the process of forming a task force that will spearhead the selection of athletes for the Asiad.
Garcia also said the task force will be ‘doubly strict’ in the selection of athletes to the Asiad.