THE Philippine Sports Commission hailed the performance of the country's athletes at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia but still sees room for improvement as focus now shifts to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
PSC chairman Richard Bachmann said the government sports agency wants to be more involved in the buildup of future competitions overseas, beginning with the Asiad that will take place from September 23 to October 8.
“We are glad that we beat the last Southeast Asian Games record pero there’s room for improvement,” said Bachmann during the PSA Forum on Tuesday. “There are sports that were expected to help out in the medals but didn’t push through.”
“I don’t want the PSC to be known as just giving out funds. I want the PSC to understand the sport and would be able to work with the NSAs on how to improve the sport. Hindi tayo taga-bigay ng pera lang. We have to get involved and show how to improve sports in coordination with the NSAs,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann said he plans to meet with the NSAs through commissioners Bong Coo, Fritz Gaston, Ed Hayco, and Walter Torres to assess the SEA Games performance and discuss their outlook for the Asian Games.
The former PBA player said the PSC board is studying its own criteria for inclusion in the Asiad contingent, which he said will eventually be discussed with the Philippine Olympic Committee for a collaborative evaluation.
The POC had already said that gold and silver medalists in the recent SEA Games are shoo-ins for the Asian Games.
“We are working on our own criteria for sports to be allowed in the Asian Games. Once I finish that, we can work with the POC and see a common ground with all the sports,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann said there are already discussions with chief of mission Richard Gomez on the PSC's plan to bring additional staff to future multi-sport events that can help the athletes, beginning with physical therapists.
“There will be changes that we talked [about with] CDM Richard Gomez. We expect to make some improvements in the Asian Games,” said Bachmann.