Friday, July 05, 2013

The amazing POC logic

THE Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has backtracked, sort of, on its earlier stand not to send our football teams to the Southeast Asian Games.

Sort of.



POC chairman Peping Cojuangco told a Manila broadsheet that "“First they must provide us some records of their previous performances that would prove they can win, and they must also know who are the tough teams they will be facing in the SEA Games."

Identifying the tough teams is easy enough, but we'd have to wait for the draw but as for the records, well, for someone who's in charge of the POC--the umbrella organization of all National Sports Associations in the country--it's an embarrassing gaffe. 

Again, I have to emphasize, we won't be having this discussion if not for a message our PSC chairman Ritchie Garcia and POC head Cojuangco wants to send. That they are unhappy with the Myanmar Games.

And again, too, I say--I support the POC's and PSC's stand but instead ot this token protest of sending a token message, it would have been best if the Philippines skip this year's games all together.  Now that's the perfect protest.

But because of the stance of the POC and PSC, we now have this discussion, which kind of highlights Garcia's and Cojuangco's lack of knowledge about what the POC and PSC has done--or hasn't done--for Philippine football.  (Well, admittedly, there wasn't much to cheer about football in the Philippines pre-2010).

So, Cojuangco, here's the record you want for the Philippines in the SEA Games in the last 12 years--two wins, five losses; 12 goals scored and 21 goals allowed.

Not a pretty record. Here's another ugly number two of 7--that's the number of times we had a men's football team in the SEA Games, two in the last seven editions.  We missed five because of the PSC criteria, that we send only sure medalists in team competition to save money. (P.S, where did all these savings go, Mr. Chairmen?)

You improve your record by participating, but you can't improve your record because you have to prove that you can improve your record before you can participate.

Sounds logical? That's the POC for you my friend.

It's a good thing guys like Manny Pacquiao didn't have them to contend with when he took on Marco Antonio Barrera the first time, or the Azkals of 2010 when they went to the Suzuki Cup in Vietnam or our men's tennis team when they took on South Korea in the Group 1 playoff in the Davis Cup.  You know what happened to Manny and the Azkals, but do you know what happened to our tennis team?  

They lost their first two singles matches, the second one in one weird turnaround, 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 0-6, 2-6.  Cecil Mamiit gave up just one game to take a two-set lead but won only five in the next three sets to lose the match.

That's enough to break your hearts, right?

But heart and that fighting spirit is one that can't be quantified, by records or previous results.  So against Korea in Korea, the Philippine men's tennis team fought back to take the doubles match and the final two reverse singles match to win.

And yeah, it's a good thing they didn't have a PSC/POC criteria to beat before leaving for Korea then.

I'm not saying, of course, that we send the men's team because they can win a medal, anyone who'd guarantee a medal in football is crazy. I'm saying we send for the sake of Philippine football.  The days when we are left in the SEA Games sideline looking in should be over because--and this is what Cojuangco and Garcia refuse to see--it's 2013, not 2001, 2003 or 2011 even.

HE SAID IT. "If the Wimbledon were the Southeast Asian games, then we would’ve deprived the chance of seeing somebody beat the likes of Nadal. If (Nadal’s conqueror) were a Filipino and it were the SEA Games, we would not have sent him right?”  Dan Palami.





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