SEAG fiasco: A template for defeat
Lito A. Tacujan (The Philippine Star) - August 30, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  It’s been one excruciating journey, a downhill drive to the bottom of the pit the past 18 years that has made us – “a basket case” – in regional sports.

Another horrendous debacle struck Team Philippines again in Kuala Lumpur as the 29th Southeast Asian Games came to a formal close last night, leaving the Nationals with 24 golds, 33 silvers, 64 bronzes and even if they win the last two events disputed before the closing rites they will remain at sixth place.

Before some suddenly conscience-stricken sports officials would open up and mouth overused rhetoric heard every post-SEAG meltdown, we thought we would spare them the pain and the efforts of making up excuses we actually set up a template for it.

Some of the reasons they could reach out and dust off at the moment are:

1. We will take stock of things and look for areas of concern that we would develop to be competitive in the SEAG.

2. We will start our buildup for the 2019 SEAG in Manila.

3. We will start our buildup for the Asian Games and the Olympics.

4. It is important we look into the daily diets of our national athletes.

5. We didn’t have the funds.

6. We must come out with a program attuned to the demands of the times.

7. We will push for the construction of a national training center in Clark airbase.

8. We will launch a new identification program among our youths so we may discover those with talents and potential future national athletes.

9. We will come up with eligibility rules that would disqualify those who will challenge us, inane as they may seem.

10. We will man our NSAs with those ever loyal to us.

With what happened in the Kuala Lumpur Games, we wonder which one they will conveniently pick for the fiasco this time, the worst in 18 years as far as gold-medal output is concerned.

They will continue to bask in the power of their position at the helm of Philippine sports, soak in the attention and media mileage they would get from it.

Why the ever worsening state of Philippine sports? Why has it deteriorated to the point it now languishes in the middle of the pack in the SEAG, one of the low tiers in global competition.

Whom to blame? The POC, the PSC and the NSAs?

The PSC, whose main duty is to fund the country’s grassroots program, has committed a grievous blunder in the disposal of the government fund by going directly to the athletes under its subsidy and in the process politicized them. The POC exacerbated this flaw by putting people loyal to them as heads of NSAs – even if they were not qualified, paving the way for a weak mendicant leadership.

The NSAs with sound program and a vision would go it alone and they prove to be the regular gold medal winners in the biennial meet.

This was very apparent in Kuala Lumpur where Team Phl supporters bravely stand at the sidelines waiting for golden victories. Instead they would suffer a thousand deaths for every defeat.


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