Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino
STAR/ File
PSC to open training centers soon
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — If the COVID-19 situation improves, Tokyo-bound athletes and other Olympic hopefuls may be allowed to resume training at government-owned facilities soon.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Philippine Sports Commission officer-in-charge Ramon Fernandez are both pushing for exemptions so as to jumpstart preparations this early for athletes who have already qualified and those with chances of making it to the quadrennial games.

“We’re hoping to start preparations as soon as government allows us. We have to catch up in terms of Olympic training,” said Tolentino.

Fernandez, who has taken over the PSC rein with chairman William “Butch” Ramirez on leave, said they may start opening the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and PhilSports Arena soon.

In fact, Fernandez said they might allow Eumir Felix Marcial to start training at the Rizal Memorial Complex in Manila.

“We are hoping and planning to allow Marcial to practice in the boxing gym at Rizal on his own as well as the others who have qualified,” said Fernandez. “We just have to schedule. Of course, at the this point, no sparring yet.”

The optimism may be coming from the fact that COVID-19 patients are either none or dwindling at the makeshift facilities at Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and PhilSports Arena.

“There are no more patients in Ninoy. ULTRA is continuing to accept patients while Rizal is due for disinfection and repair. If there are no more patients there, maybe we can start,” said Fernandez.

The PSC OIC is also looking at allowing fencing, karatedo and taekwondo to use the PSC venues.

“The best thing to do is to keep them in one place. When we are able to do that, depending on pandemic and protocols, maybe we start allowing them to train by third or fourth quarter of the year,” said Fernandez.

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