Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino has expressed his willingness to take on the hosting responsibilities for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games if and when another country withdraws.
Tolentino disclosed this during his guesting on the Philippine Sportswriters Association web forum. He added that he has made this intention official during a council meeting of the SEA Games.
“Matagal na uli ang susunod eh. Kung tutuusin, 20 years ang next kung susundin mo ang cycle. Sayang naman, sayang ang momentum,” said Tolentino, who is seeking a new term as president of the POC.
Hosting duties of the SEA Games is actually rotated among the member countries. However, it can change if a country declares it is unable to play host.
“Sisiguraduhin kong nasa minutes na I offered to host, if ever there will be countries na magwe-waive. Magkasunod yung Brunei and Laos so alin man sa dalawa ang mag-back out, nauna akong mag-offer. I was serious in that,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino said he is keen on keeping the momentum from the country’s 2019 hosting going. It can be recalled that the Philippines won the overall title following a stellar showing that saw the Filipinos win an astounding 149 gold medals.
“It helps the country kapag nag-host tayo. Tataas ang rating, tataas ang economy, tourism. May domino effect,” Tolentino added.
Should the Philippines be given another crack at hosting the SEA Games, Tolentino said the New Clark City Sports Complex would still be the main venue. (JNP)