FOR the Philippine Sports Commission, the move to hold the Philippine National Games in Metro Manila is a blessing in disguise.
While the move to the Big City may have been a step backward in the promotion of sports in the countryside, PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez said the PNG has gained interest from Manila-based athletes.
“Actually, it’s a blessing that the original host backed out. There is a lot of interest for the PNG coming from athletes from the different schools in Metro Manila,” said Gomez during a press conference on Monday. The third edition of the PNG was originally set to be hosted by Pangasinan.
Gomez also said the PNG, which will be held from May 24 to June 2 with 41 sports set in different venues in the National Capital Region, comes at a time when several athletes from the provinces are going back to Manila for the coming school year.
“School starts in June and they want to use the PNG as a warm-up event for their competition,” said Gomez, the commissioner-in-charge of the event.
“We are bringing the PNG outside Metro Manila to promote sports. Having it here is a blessing because we will find good performances from athletes in Metro Manila who can’t afford to go to the provinces,” said Gomez, who is expecting at least 6,000 athletes to join the event.
The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex will be the main hub of the PNG while the Philsports complex, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila Bay, Quezon City, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Taguig, Marikina, and Cavite will also host a few events.
The opening ceremony is set on May 24 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Gymnastics competitions have already started at the Rizal Memorial gymnastics hall and will end on May 26. Golf will be played on June 5 to 8 at Sherwood Hills.