It’s all or nothing for the Philippines when it plays hosts to the 30th Southeast Asian Games in November.
“I want no less than the overall championship,” said Deputy House Speaker Mikee Romero during yesterday’s PSA Forum.
The 47-year-old congressman, sports patron and polo athlete rolled into one said since it’s been done before, it can be done again.
It will be the fourth in history that the Philippines will host the SEA Games after 1981, 1991 and 2005.
And if the trend continues, the next time the country hosts the biennial event would be 10 or 12 years from now.
“It’s a long cycle that’s why we need to make the most out of this hosting. Let’s win the overall title,” he said at Amelie Hotel Manila.
“We just have to replicate what we did in 2005. Something less will not be at par with what we achieved 14 years ago,” he said.
“We must win the overall crown or we will fall short of 2005. That’s why I am challenging our sports leaders. It’s championship or bust,” Romero told the weekly forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel and Pagcor.
Joining the second-term party list representative were the ladies tasked to run the polo competitions in the coming SEA Games – technical operations manager Bubbles Bermudez, deputy venue manager Julia Lastrilla and competition manager Camila Lastrilla, and Erik Arejola, GlobalPort governor in the PBA.
Romero is neck-deep into basketball but has dipped his hands into shooting, volleyball, baseball, cycling and now polo. He expects the Philippines to win the SEA Games gold in men’s basketball.
“The gold in basketball is a must. At the level of our professional players, the Southeast Asian players are not at par. This is the gold that matters most to us,” said Romero.
When the SEA Games is staged from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, the owner of the GlobalPort team in the PBA will compete in polo. He said of the two gold medals to be disputed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia, the hosts will be happy to win one gold and one silver.
“Of course the target is to sweep the golds. But the more realistic goal is from page 16
a gold and a silver. It’s more achievable,” said Romero.
The Philippine polo team includes Gus Aguirre, Tommy Bitong, Jay de Jesus, Jam Eusebio, Anthony Filamor, Coco Garcia, Santi Juban, Ed Lopez, Marty Romualdez, Tonio Veloso and Noel Vecinal.
As a group, they will undergo intense training from Oct. 27 to Nov. 12 in Argentina, which Romero described as the “mecca of polo.”