PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — So far, so good.
The Philippine Sports Commission is very satisfied with the athletes’ performance entering the halfway point of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games here.
PSC chairperson Richard “Dickie” Bachmann said he likes how things are going after the Filipino athletes delivered in the early stretch of the biennial meet.
It looks like we’re getting there.
As of late Sunday, the Philippines is at the fourth spot of the medal tally behind host country Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam with 12 gold, 14 silver and 15 bronze medals.
The PSC chief noted that there were some unexpected gold medals in various fronts, especially in the jiu-jitsu, karate, obstacle course race, Esports and the Cambodian sport of Kun Bokator, giving Team Philippines a major boost when elite athletes like Olympians EJ Obiena, Carlos Yulo, Kristina Knott, Kurt Barbosa and Elreen Ando see action.
Obiena, Yulo and Knott are competing at press time while Ando and Barbosa will compete in the final stretch of the Games.
“It looks like we’re getting there. We are getting all these gold medals so far without the likes of EJ and Yulo. I hope the trend of the gold and silver medals will continue,” Bachmann told a select group of sportswriters over lunch last Sunday.
“You all have to remember that this is my first time. I’m only used to 3×3 and 5×5 basketball events. Now, I’m seeing a pool of all sports so I’m very excited.”
The PSC had done its best to support the athletes — on and off the court.
In fact, it allotted P250 million to cover the expenses in the participation of the national delegation, including airfare, early-arrival expenses, uniforms, allowances, equipment, supplies, manpower and medical support.
The agency also took care of training, foreign exposure and other pre-SEA Games expenditures.
So far, more than P200 million has been disbursed for SEA Games-related expenses.
Together with sports commissioners Olivia “Bong” Coo and Fritz Gaston, Bachmann, for one, has been actively cheering from the gallery, making sure that the athletes will feel the support of the government in this biennial multi-sport conclave.
“It is really amazing to personally see all their hard work translate into medals,” Bachmann, who flew in here in economy class together with other members of the national delegation, said.
“Personally, I enjoy being with the crowd and being with the athletes. I don’t like being at center stage. It’s better to feel the drama with the fans and the athletes so I enjoy that.”