Tolentino asks fans to support SEA Games.
SAYING the glitches that have marred the 30th Southeast Asian Games a few days before it opens are normal, Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino yesterday appealed for understanding and exhorted the nation to support the sporting showpiece.
Tolentino appeared at the well-attended Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila, telling everyone that the several glitches that have marred the lead-up to the 30th edition of the meet could happen to any nation hosting an event of this size and magnitude.
“Hindi natin maiwasan ‘yung mga small, minor glitches but all of those were already solved and merong solution. Ganun talaga. Na-experience ko rin sa ibang bansa. ‘Yung ID ko ibang picture, marami ‘yan," the Tagaytay congressman told sportswriters.
“I hope maintindihan ng iba lalo na kulang na kulang ‘yung year ng preparation natin. Remember, dapat sa Brunei ito. Nangyayari talaga ito. Lahat po ‘yan, na-address na ng organizing committee. We just focus on our athletes. Doon tayo bumawi,” he added.
According to him, the organizing Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) and other parties involved in the hosting are not sleeping on their job and trying to find a solution to every problem.
The recent days leading up to Nov. 30 opening of the 11-nation, 12-day regional sportsfest have been met by a barrage of complaints on hotel accommodations, lack of quality food, poor transportation, logistics, as well as renovations of major venues that failed to meet the deadline, forcing organizers to apologize
The POC president, who is also president of the national cycling association, urged the public to unite behind the flag, saying the country should not only win as one, but also "to stand as one in hosting this 30th SEA Games".
Tolentino said it is now the time to move on especially with other countries already showing their support to the hosting, the fourth time the country is staging this biennial meet. It earlier hosted the sportsfest in 1981, 1991 and 2005.
“It’s normal. Sabi ko, let’s move on. Even sabi ng Singapore and Myanmar, let’s move on. The formal opening will be on the 30th. Let’s move on kaya dinagdagan ko, we win as one, we stand as one,” said Tolentino.
The POC president said the SEA Games won’t be hosted again by the Philippines anytime soon.
“Remember, the next SEA Games will be 10 years from now. Wag muna tayo maghilahan. Para sa bayan muna. Sayang. Tanggapin natin na lahat tayo nagkakamali, magsama- sama tayo. Social media din, ganun din sa netizens, let’s move on,” Tolentino added.