PHILIPPINE Sports Commission chairman Ritchie Garcia still believes that the country will put up a respectable finish despite the lean team that will compete in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Reacting to a news item of People’s Journal entitled ‘PSC boss sees a debacle,' Garcia said he expects the country to finish either sixth or seventh place in Myanmar but wouldn't consider it a debacle.
The PSC chief said he believes all of the Filipino athletes will be medal contenders in Myanmar after a stringent screening process by the joint task force of the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
“We feel that we are still competitive sa mga sports na sasalihan natin. Hindi tayo nagpadala para magpadala lang. We have to send good players,” said Garcia in a radio interview over DZSR Sports Radio.
Instead, Garcia justified the PSC and POC’s decision to send a lean delegation after Myanmar organizers scrapped several Olympic events while adding non-traditional sports like chinlone, kempo, and vovinam.
“I felt bad sa ganito ang sistema and the (SEAG) federation allowed it. We are not denying the fact that at one point, seryoso tayo na huwag na tayong sumali or magpadala ng token delegation.
“Sumali pa rin tayo pero hindi naman puwede na bubugbugin nalang tayo at bahala na kayo diyan. They are using government funds and we want to make sure that we put it in the right investment,” Garcia said.
However, Garcia admitted there's a chance Myanmar will leapfrog the Philippines in the medal tally. The Philippines finished sixth in the 2011 SEA Games ahead of Myanmar.
“Myanmar was number seven in the 2011 SEA Games. Kung malalagpasan tayo ng Myanmar, tayo ang bababa ngayon dahil wala tayong pagkukunan ng gold medals,” said Garcia.