Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Bambol Tolentino POC

FILE – POC president Bambol Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino arrived from Vietnam a few days back and personally witnessed the full-scale operations of the host country to make the coming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) a smashing success despite an ongoing health crisis.

“From what I saw, I think nothing can stop Vietnam from holding the SEA Games despite the [COVID-19] pandemic,’’ said Tolentino on Tuesday after attending the chef de mission gathering in Hanoi and touring most of the venues where the Games will be staged.

The Cavite representative and PhilCycling president said Vietnam has already received the entries of Team Philippines, which has pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena who was excluded by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) pending the mediation result of both parties.

The POC is standing firm in its stand to get Obiena to defend his crown even without the endorsement of his national federation, which has deferred all decisions regarding Obiena pending the resolution of their conflict. The Patafa, meanwhile, has reiterated its stance that only national sports associations have the power to form national teams.

“We’re still waiting for [Vietnam organizers’] formal confirmation on the status of EJ. We made sure that he’s included in the list of athletes,’’ said Tolentino. INQ

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