TEAM Philippines has finalized its fighting roster for the 31st Southeast Asian Games following the conclusion of the delegation registration meetings organized by the host nation on Sunday, May 8, 2022.

Commissioner Ramon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission, the country’s chef de mission in the SEA Games, reports the accreditation of the entire 981-strong delegation, including 641 Filipino athletes from 38 sports.

The Cebuano commissioner was ably assisted by his deputy chefs de mission Pearl Managuelod and Carl Sambrano in securing the identification cards ahead of the opening ceremony being prepared by host Vietnam on May 12.

“We have to make sure that everything will be in order before our athletes compete for medals. There should be no distractions as they focus on their respective events,’’ said Fernandez.

A total of 318 officials and 18 support staff will back up the athletes, whose participation and preparations were bankrolled by the PSC, the government arm in sports, to the tune of P232 million.

Meanwhile, the country’s women’s football team will open their SEA Games campaign against Cambodia at 7 p.m. in Group A on Monday at the Cam Pha Stadium

The Filipinas, who qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time after reaching the AFC Women’s Asian Cup semifinals in India early this year, will look to build on its recent success as it faces the teams in the SEA region.

Filipinas coach Alen Stajcic will have 20 players at his disposal for the tournament although two key names from the Asian Cup will not be around to fuel their bid.

Chandler McDaniel, who scored against Thailand, is sidelined by an ACL injury she suffered in the Asian Cup semifinals against Korea, while Katrina Guillou is out due to club commitments. The SEA Games is not in the FIFA window, which means clubs are not compelled to release their players.

The Filipinas, supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission, are looking forward to playing in a packed stadium, especially against host Vietnam, whom they play on Tuesday in the women’s football venue situated some 200 kilometers away from the main hub Hanoi.