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POC appoints Loyzaga as CDM

The Philippine Olympic Committee named baseball president Joaquin “Chito” Loyzaga as chef de mission of Team Philippines to the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia next year.

POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino also appointed sambo association head Paolo Tancontian and canoe-kayak head coach Leonora “Len” Escollante as Loyzaga’s deputies in the biennial meet that Cambodia will host from 5 to 16 May.

“Their handling of their respective national sports associations and their management skills make them deserving of the posts,” said Tolentino, who also announced over the weekend that Cambodia is hosting 608 events with the Philippines expected to compete in all 49 sports in the program.

Loyzaga, a former basketball star and commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission, said leading the national delegation in the biennial meet is such a big responsibility.

“It’s a big challenge for the Philippines to perform well, as well as the other countries, because of the number of sports favoring the host country,” said the 64-year-old Loyzaga, who was deputy CDM in the 2010 Asian Beach Games.

“It will be very challenging.”

Escollante was surprised with the appointment but readily accepted the responsibility.

“I thank the POC for the trust, and rest assured, I’ll do my best to deliver with excellence,” said Escollante, a member of the national team that last won a SEA Games women’s volleyball gold medal in Singapore in 1993.

“It’s a privilege so I will be doing my best to carry out my task.”

Tancontian, however, treats the appointment as a milestone.

“This is another milestone in my career. I couldn’t be more grateful to the God Almighty and to the people who believes in me,” said Tancontian, president of the Philippine Sambo Federation.

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