by Karlo Sacamos
THE teams in limbo seem to have moved a step closer to heaven.
The Southeast Asian Games Task Force on Thursday said no players or teams were subtracted from the initial list of “entry by name” recommended to Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. and Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia in a meeting on Wednesday.
“Wala,” SEA Games delegation chef de mission Jeff Tamayo told Spin.ph over the phone late Thursday. “(But) it’s going to be a lean and mean machine na potential gold-medal (getters). Sinisigurado rin natin na hindi tayo malalaglag.”
Tamayo said the real “judgment day” for teams and athletes on the bubble - among them the Under-23 Azkals and the women's football team - is on November 1, when the task force holds a meeting to determine the final lineup to the regional biennial competition.
The meeting on Wednesday was basically about updating the country’s sports leaders on the preparations of the squads, particularly the ongoing medical and physical conditioning tests.
“We’re protecting the games, meaning we’re doing all we can to help the athletes (in their preparations),” Tamayo said.
“If they cannot pass it, I’m sorry, sabi niya (Cojuangco),” he added.
Tamayo said they plan to hold these types of meetings “regularly” now as the SEA Games draws nearer.
Tamayo is set to fly to Myanmar on Friday for a meeting with fellow heads of delegation.