Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Chef de Mission Julian Camacho expects Philippine athletes participating in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore to bring home more medals than they did in the previous event.
Despite Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ricardo Garcia’s statement of a possible fifth place finish, Camacho remains confident the Team Philippines will get more medals than the 29-gold, 34-silver, 38-bronze they got in 2013 edition in Myanmar.
Camacho said that the men’s basketball team is sure gold for the Philippines. He also believes that Filipinos are strong contenders in contact sports events such as tae kwon do, boxing, wushu and judo.
Camacho, who is also the current treasurer of the POC, pointed out that National Sports Associations (NSA) play a key role in assigning their athletes who will participate in the games.
When asked about the weaknesses of the athletes, he said that lack of experience is a factor in the competition including the women’s volleyball team players, who have been playing together for a few months.
Camacho stressed that “this is the best prepared for SEA games the Philippines have had.” POC has been closely monitoring the training of the athletes since September.
A home crowd feeling has been a positive note for the teams, citing an email from the Philippine Embassy in Singapore, saying a crowd of over 180 thousand Filipinos will cheer on the local team during the games giving them a “homecourt advantage” feeling.
“We just hope we can really do better this time than the last SEA games.,” said Camacho.
The PSC has been blamed by many on poor state of Philippine sports. During a Senate hearing in November last year, Senator Vicente Sotto III criticized PSC’s system in providing funds only to those under NSAs leading to talented athletes to opt out and join tournaments independently.
PSC has also been bombarded by questions and accusations regarding funding delay and limited support to athletes.