Fair Play: The RP teams of the SEAG

NUTS! That probably sums up the current state of RP sports.

Just as when I thought we can’t possibly sink any lower, we just did!

We’ve probably set a new benchmark.

We’ve got two delegations, two sets of uniforms, two sets of secretariats and two sets of media bureaus in the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Laos.

There’s one for the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and one for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Makes you wonder if they’d have Team Philippines POC and Team Philippines PSC in the medal tally or they’d have two “national anthems.”

Nuts! One national daily said one media bureau doesn’t have the access to the other delegation, and if they want to conduct interviews, they will have to do it through the

Now, why in the name of all things weird do we have two delegations?

Because of Ondoy.

Because the PSC wanted to save money.


After Ondoy struck, the PSC thought it was unwise to spend millions for the Seag campaign when the country was still reeling from Ondoy’s devastation.

So, instead of sending the gold, silver and bronze medalists in the previous Seag, the PSC cut the criteria to just the gold and silver medal winners.

From the original 251, the list was reduced to 153.

The problem was, the POC submitted the original list, the one with 251 athletes.

Still, the PSC was adamant. It will only fund the 153.

Each side wouldn’t budge, so each side ended up with their own delegations, with different uniform designs, according to one daily.

The country’s permanent representative to the IOC has even taken to calling our contingent, “Teams Philippines.”

I wonder how much our sports agencies saved by sending two delegations.

And, that’s not all!

Our cycling team—12 of the 13 members—got barred from joining the games.

They learned that on opening day itself.

Why? What else? Because of politics.

Nuts! Like most other national sports associations, there are two cycling groups—one is allied with the POC, the other isn’t.

The non-POC ally, is aligned with the UCI. Naturally, the international body wanted to protect its members and since it has the final say on who can join the Seag, they

barred the RP team, despite request from the 11 other members of Seag.


The non-POC ally could have given the RP team members the “go-signal” to compete for flag and country. But that would have been the honorable thing to do.

And honorable things, it seems, are as rare as nice words coming out from Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s mouth.

Marites Bitbit could have competed since she had the blessings of both non-POC and POC allied groups.

The POC chair asked her to withdraw, to show her solidarity daw with the rest of the team.

Why nobody from the POC realized that the team couldn’t compete without the UCI ally’s blessing is puzzling.

Now because of politics, which was brought in the open for the rest of the Seag community to gawk at, months of hard work for the RP cycling team went to naught.


Go Teams Philippines!


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