Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SPORTS - By June Navarro @ju­navINQ

The Philip­pines’ SEA Games or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee rolled out the ini­tial 30 sports which will most likely give the coun­try the lever­age it needs in the chase for the over­all ti­tle when the 11na­tion sports­fest un­folds from Nov. 30 to Dec. 10 next year.

“We have to im­prove our stand­ing from sixth to at least top 3,” said Philip­pine Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Ricky Var­gas on Thurs­day at the con­clu- sion of the SEA Games Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil meet­ing at the Shangri-La Ho­tel in Taguig.

Manda­tory sports such as athletics and aquat­ics have been listed as well as com­bat sports judo, ji­u­jitsu, karatedo, taek­wondo, box­ing, muay, ar­nis, wushu and wrestling/kurash, dis­ci­plines where the Philip­pine gold-medal pro­duc­tion will come from.

Men’s basketball, the coun­try’s peren­nial gold source, was pri­or­i­tized in the ros­ter, which in­cluded archery, bil­liards, bowl­ing, cy­cling, fenc­ing, golf, gym­nas­tics, sail­ing, triathlon, vol­ley­ball, weightlift­ing and dance­s­port.

“Let’s show our best foot for­ward as hos­pitable hosts and give the best we can,” said Var­gas, cochair of the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee with For­eign Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Alan Peter Cayetano and Philip­pine Sports Com­mis­sion chair Butch Ramirez.

“It would be best if we can get the over­all cham­pi­onship and wewill strive to do so,” Var­gas added .

The 30 sports, a com­bi­na­tion of Olympic and Asian dis­ci­plines, were ap­proved by the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the SEAG Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil. The POC will still ac­com­mo­date sug­ges­tions for ad­di­tional sports un­til June 13.

POC chair Abra­ham “Bam­bol” To­lentino said the open­ing cer­e­monies would be held at the Philip­pine Arena in Bo­caue, Bu­la­can, while the clos­ing rites are set at Clark New City, which or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee sec­re­tary gen­eral Tats Suzara iden­ti­fied as the main hub of the event.

Apart from Clark and Su­bic, where wa­ter sports will see ac­tion, Suzara said sev­eral sports would be held in Metro Manila with MOA Arena and Cuneta Astrodome host­ing basketball, and Mall of Asia’s SMX serv­ing as venue for medal-rich box­ing, gym­nas­tics, muay and wushu.

“Some venues will be per­ma­nent while some venues are tem­po­rary. We have also iden­ti­fied fa­cil­i­ties that needs to be up­graded and re­fur­bished,” Suzara said.

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