Team Philippines hobbling to poor SEAG finish
Lito A. Tacujan (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - Unless Team Philippines hit a mother lode of golden victories in the last four days, we are staring at one of our worst finishes in the Southeast Asian Games.

On the very day where 52 gold medals were at stake and where we hope to strike early and get the momentum for a swashbuckling charge, we agonized every step of the way and could only show three golds nearing 8 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur.

Team Philippines has so far 17 golds, a far cry from its 29 gold haul two years ago in Singapore, a disastrous stint in all reckoning.

And it would virtually need the help of the Justice League and other super heroes to give us the boost so we could reach the 50-gold target in the next few days.

Officials of the 497 athletes had hoped for making the gold output to gain some semblance of respect for improving on its Singapore finish. Instead, we’re facing the specter of another debacle in Kuala Lumpur that may even send us crashing to our worst finish the way we did in 2013 in Myanmar where we ended up seventh.

“We may even top the 50 gold medals with the kind of attitude our athletes have shown,” said chef de mission Cynthia Carrion on the eve of their departure.

What makes this even more disheartening is that the kind of competition at this regional level is not even a ripple when compared with the cut-throat Asian Games, the World Championships or the Olympics.

Sports provides us the venue where we could obtain some sense of nationhood and national pride the same manner Manny Pacquiao’s past triumphs had become a source of joy for every Filipino.

In contrast, defeats could bring in a sense of gloom and doom that could burden our collective souls.

Sports officials have the responsibility and the vision to discover, train and develop talents that could be competitive not only in the region but in international fronts as well.

With the SEA Games fast dwindling to its last few days, Team Philippines could only provide snatches of victories from our brave national athletes but we have this sinking feeling  these would not be sufficient to save us from another impending fiasco.

Fifty newly minted golds? All we have at the moment are 50 shades of heartaches.

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