Time running out for PH Asiad bets

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 18 2014 06:52 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2014 02:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia has expressed alarm that the different NSAs (national sports associations) have yet to send their athletes overseas for their Asian Games training.

Garcia said if he could have his way, he wanted the athletes out training overseas as early as February. But with only six months left before the Asiad, there seems to be no progress.

“It’s not with us,” said the PSC chief yesterday.

“We are just waiting for them. We’re ready to send the athletes, for example, those in track and field, to the United States but there are problems with the association,” he said.

The PSC has offered to send the track athletes for training in the United States but the association doesn’t seem to be interested and is opting for Baguio.

“We are ready but we can’t do anything. The funding is there but if the NSAs are not moving then we cannot force them,” he added.

“I’m a little bit worried of the slow response from the NSAs. Maybe the NSAs are trying to squeeze athletes that should not be there and this causes the delay. And kung makialam kami sasabihan ka na you’re stepping on their territory,” Garcia added.

Softball, the PSC chief added, wants to train in the US for two months starting in July, and the PSC is willing to support the trip.

Boxing is also seeking international exposures for their athletes but has drawn up a program that may cost as much as P10 million. The PSC has allotted P50 million for all the NSAs and their Asian Games preparations.

Garcia said he plans to meet with Alliance of Boxing Associations of the Philippines president Ricky Vargas this week so they can discuss the matter.

“I don’t think we can afford the P10 million because we have to look at the needs of the other athletes. But if after everything, we don’t spend all of the P50 million then we can augment and supplement the other needs of boxing,” he said.

“But right now, as things are running, it’s not enough,” he added.