A finish lower than first place in the 30th Southeast Asian Games is something that will not look good in the eyes of Deputy House Speaker Mikee Romero.
“It has been 14 years since we placed No. 1 so I expect no less than the overall championships for the Philippines,” said Romero, who represents 1-Pacman Partylist during Tuesday’s PSA Forum at the Amelie Hotel.
“We just have to replicate what we did in 2005. Something less than that will not be at par with what we achieved,” said Romero in the weekly Q&A backed by San Miguel, Pagcor and Braska Restaurant.
The SEAG will be held officially from Nov. 30-Dec 11 in Metro Manila and New Clark City in Tarlac and various key sites across Central and Southern Luzon.
In 2005, the last time the country hosted the biennial sportsfest, the Philippines barely won the overall title and Romero insists that there is a dire need to duplicate that feat.
“We really need to win the overall (crown) otherwise we will fall short,” stressed Romero. “Second place won’t look good.”
Romero was accompanied by longtime assistant AirAsia executive Erick Arejola and polo association officials – technical operations manager Bubbles Bermudez, deputy venue manager Julia Lastrilla and competition manager Camila Lastrilla.
The 2019 SEAG will have 56 sports and 530 gold medals up for grabs.
ONE GOLD, ONE SILVER
Romero likewise expounded on his stint as a member of the polo squad, saying his realistic target is one gold and one silver.
Challenging the Philippines are Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, which will be fielding members of the royal family, according to Romero, who heads the Philippine National Federation of Polo Players.
The presence of the royalties, added Romero, will “uplift the SEA Games.” To get ready for the SEAG, training camps in the US, Australia and Argentina, the haven of polo, are on tap for the national team.
Aside from Romero, other members of the PH team that will train in Argentina for two weeks are Gus Aguirre, Tommy Bitong, Jay de Jesus, Jam Eusebio, Anthony Filamor, Coco Garcia, Santi Juban, Ed Lopez, Marty Romualdez, Tonio Veloso and Noel Vecinal.tempo.com