THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced over the weekend that 27 national sports associations (NSA) have already submitted their lists of candidates for membership in the national delegation to the coming Asian Games this November in Guangzhou, China.

POC spokesperson and Asian Games chief-of-mission Joey Romasanta said the deadline was actually set February 15 on the teams that will form the national training pool but was extended until last Friday (February 19) to give way for other NSAs to comply.

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The NSAs, which had submitted their lists, are aquatics, archery, athletics, baseball, billiards, boxing, judo, karatedo, rowing, shooting, wrestling, weightlifting, triathlon, lawn tennis, taekwondo, table tennis, squash, softball, gymnastics, golf, fencing, equestrian, dance sports, cycling, canoe-kayak, dragon boat, and badminton.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas had not yet submitted its list but Romasanta said the Smart-Gilas squad is considered submitted.

Romasanta however said a continuous evaluation will be done within the next six months before the country submits the final list of participants in August.

“We’d like to level the playing field within that time frame so that the athletes will have equal chances of qualifying to the Asian Games,” he said.

“In our country, the measurement of a successful participation depends on the total number of medals the RP team won. I told the NSA heads that if they think that if some of their players are not capable of winning, they should not include it in the list because it might just jeopardize the whole performance of the team,” he added.

There would be 42 sports lined up for the quadrennial event, but the country will be participating in just 35 sports.

In the 2006 Asiad in Doha, Qatar, the Philippines won four gold medals, two in boxing and one each in billiards and wushu. The nationals also bagged four silvers and bronzes. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)