AFTER a string of letdowns, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia is confident the country can do better in its coming campaign in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Garcia made the assessment during the formal sendoff for the 700-plus strong Philippine delegation bound for the June 5-16 biennial meet held at the Philsports Arena on Wednesday night.
“We have high hopes that we can surpass our last SEA Games (performance),” Garcia told the athletes and sports officials in attendance. “We trust our national athletes will do their best in the competition.”
The Philippines won 29 gold medals for seventh place during the 2013 edition of the event in Myanmar, marking the worst finish ever for the country since it first participated in the SEA Games in 1977.
For his part, Philippines Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Conjuangco urged the athletes to display the true character of a Filipino sportsman during the course of the Games.
Cojuangco declined to give his medal prediction and instead, encouraged the athletes to just give their best.
“Show what a true Filipino is and make your countrymen proud,” said Cojuangco. “It's not just winning medals but also their behavior of a true sportsman with a fighting spirit.”
Cojuangco urged the athletes to be aware of their responsibility to the country.
“I always see myself responsible for the athletes, that's why I want to make sure that they also know their responsibility,” he said.
Volleyball star Alyssa Valdez, the country's flag bearer during the June 6 opening ceremony, was not able to make it due to a conflict in the practice schedule of the women’s national team.