FOOTBALL and volleyball will likely be left out from the Philippine delegation to the Southeast Asian Games as men’s basketball and dragon boat are the only team sports that have passed the criteria set by both the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
PH chef de mission Jeff Tamayo said on Thursday only the two team sports met the criteria of the SEA Games Task Force, which has been tasked to pick only the sure and potential gold winners for the December 11-22 biennial meet in Myanmar.
Tamayo said only men’s basketball and dragon boat have a sure chance of making it as the SEA Games Task Force is standing by the criteria set by the POC and PSC.
Deadline for submission of maximum number of athletes to be sent to Myanmar is also on Thursday, although Tamayo said they will be asking organizers for a late filing.
The current soft tennis president admitted the only chance for the other team sports to be included in the SEA Games delegation is through a decision by POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco and PSC chairman Ricardo Garcia.
Asked if there’s still a chance for other team sports to send athletes to the SEA Games, Tamayo replied, “I guess if they change the criteria.”
“It’s not up to me. It’s up to the final two (Cojuangco and Garcia). I’m just in the task force,” he added.
Football didn’t make the grade despite the phenomenal resurgence of the sport as well as repeated calls and appeal for the under-23 team to see action in the region’s biggest sporting event.
“Football has to come up with really due diligence for the U-23 men’s team,” said Tamayo, referring to its chance of being allowed to play in the SEA Games.
Not even the Malditas - the women’s national football team - made the grade mainly because they haven’t seen action in any SEA Games.
“Medyo malayo eh (sa criteria ang Malditas) at hindi pa sila nakakatikim ng SEA Games,” said Tamayo.
Also not included is the popular women’s volleyball, which currently doesn’t have any national team.
The women’s basketball team, meanwhile, could also be stricken out of the roster owing to players’ injuries, although it came close to winning the gold in 2011. Thailand bagged the gold in overtime after converting a controversial game-tying three-pointer in regulation.
Tamayo said if the task force decides to include football and volleyball, it will have to include other team sports which didn’t pass the criteria.
“Every time dadalhin ko sa floor, na-de-defeat niya ‘yung purpose ng ibang teams which are going for potential medals,” said Tamayo.