Philippines lobbies for more SEA Games events in Laos

Posted by samakomlao Wednesday, April 23, 2008

POC lobbies for more SEAG events

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is pushing for the inclusion of basketball and a few other sports in the 2009 Southeast Asian Games in Laos.

POC president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco Jr. is currently in Vientiane, Laos to lobby for sports where the Philippines is considered strong, according to POC spokesman Joey Romasanta.

Cojuangco is accompanied by secretary-general Steve Hontiveros, treasurer Julian Camacho, legal counsel Ding Tanjuatco and athletics chief Go Teng Kok, designated as head of the sports and rules committee for the Laos Games. Also with the group is Dr. Martin Camara, head of the medical committee.

Aside from basketball, the POC is eyeing the inclusion of billiards, fencing, cycling, dancesport and chess.

The 25th SEA Games is slated Dec. 13-21 next year with only 22 sports on tap.

Owing to the lack of facilities in Laos, a landlocked country in Indo-China bordered by Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and China, the host said they could only organize a limited number of sports.

Forty-three events were staged last year in Thailand, nearly the same number held in Manila in 2005.

"Some of our neighbors in the SEAG are going to help us in our bid to have basketball in 2009," said a member of the POC party to Laos yesterday in an overseas call.

"We told them that when the Philippines hosted the SEAG in 2005, basketball was not played owing to the suspension (by the FIBA)."

The Philippines retained the basketball crown, but finished sixth overall last year in Thailand.


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