MANILA, September 19 ------ The changes in the rosters of some of the Philippines' national teams for the Asian Games have yet to be approved by the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC), according to the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
The POC informed HAGOC that they will make changes to the composition of some national teams during the pre-delegation registration meeting on September 6. But as of Monday, they have yet to receive approval for these changes, according to POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino. "Ang dami pang problema with the change of athletes," Tolentino said at the sidelines of the send-off ceremony for Asian Games-bound athletes at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Most high-profile among those teams is Gilas Pilipinas, with the eligibility of players like Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Jason Perkins, and Moala Tautuaa still up in the air. The names of the four players were not included in the entry-by-names submitted by the POC to HAGOC on July 25. But according to Tolentino, they are also working on the eligibility of athletes from the gymnastics, football, fencing, and golf teams. "It's all in limbo pa. Wala pa," Tolentino said of updates. Asked if he is optimistic that the changes will be granted, the POC chief said: "I'm praying every day, kahit pag-misa ko kaninang umaga, it's part of my intention."
The Philippines is seeking to surpass its four-gold medal haul in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, which were delivered by Hidilyn Diaz in weightlifting, Margielyn Didal in skateboarding, Yuka Saso in individual golf, and Saso, LK Go, and Bianca Pagdanganan in team golf. Tolentino leaves for Hangzhou, China on Tuesday. The Asian Games officially opens on September 23, with Didal and pole vaulter EJ Obiena serving as the Philippines' flag-bearers in the opening ceremonies.