SEAG bets seek IATF clearance
Marc Velasco

SEAG bets seek IATF clearance

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sooner than later, members of the national team to the 31st Southeast Asian Games set in Hanoi, Vietnam from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 will get their chance to begin face-to-face training.

“We’re working on that,” said Philippine Sports Commission chief of staff and national training director Marc Velasco in yesterday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum (PSA) webcast.

Velasco said PSC commissioner and SEA Games chef de mission Ramon Fernandez and Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino are in the process of securing the green light from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

The IATF had only allowed bubble training at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna for athletes gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics in July.

“For now, our SEAG-bound athletes are not allowed to train yet. But if the IATF gives it a go, we’ll still have to work with the national sports associations (NSAs) about the protocols that needed to be strictly enforced,” said Velasco.

So far, only athletes from boxing, taekwondo and karate are inside the bubble. Beforehand, the Gilas squad preparing for next month’s FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Clark were given the clearance to train in Laguna.

Velasco said there are other venues that can host the athletes’ training aside from Calamba, like the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, the training center in Baguio, one in Ormoc where fencing is planning to train, in Dumaguete where the national archers are and the New Clark City where the national track and field squad are looking to hold a camp.

The country, which topped the 2019 SEAG, is looking for at least a top three finish in Hanoi.

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