MANILA -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Friday said it is hoping for fair treatment from organizers of the Asian Games which will be held in Hangzhou, China.
At the Pandesal Forum in Quezon City, POC president Bambol Tolentino said the delegates are very excited to play but they hope that the Games won't be tainted by the territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila in relation to the West Philippine Sea.
“Hopefully maganda treatment sa atin ng host country kahit may issue, whether issue politically or what, West Philippine Sea issue or what. 'Yan po tinitingnan natin kung ano magiging treatment sa atin, especially on sports with judgment of judges,” said Tolentino.
Tolentino admitted that the Asiad will be tough, but the goal is to have four or more gold medals and surpass the country's output during the last Asian Games in Indonesia.
“Matablahan lang natin ang last 4 years or mahigitan pa is a very very big achievement for us,” said Tolentino.
Though gymnast Carlos Yulo won't be joining the games, Tolentino is optimistic that the delegation could still bring home gold medals from frontrunners in other sports such as pole vault led by EJ Obiena as well as athletes in track and field, swimming, golf, weightlifting, boxing, and e-sports.
He added that they are waiting for the result of their appeal to add or change players in various sports like basketball, football, and golf, among others.
The Philippines will be sending 396 athletes to the regional games, Tolentino said.
The huge number is due to the inclusion of so-called class B players, who comprise about 10 percent of the delegation.
"Class A, those who will be funded by the government, by PSC Philippine Sports Commission as the funding agency. Class B are those still willing to compete dahil may ipapakita raw silang galing. Yes they will be allowed, but KKB 'yun. Humanap kayo ng sponsor niyo," he explained.
"Class B" athletes will get the same incentives and recognition if they win.
Tolentino said the country's next flag bearer would be announced before the Games begin on Sept. 23.