MANILA, Philippines –The Azkals’ under-23 team and the Malditas have to prove they deserve berths in the Philippine contingent to the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, this September.
Dr. Ernest Jay Adalem of Samahang Basketbol Pilipinas, a member of the joint Philippine Sports Commission-Philippine Olympic Committee Task Force, said the two football squads have until July to compete in Asian-level events and make the criteria for inclusion to the Asian Games delegation.
“We have been instructed by Asiad chef de mission [and PSC chair] Richie Garcia to implement the criteria strictly,” said Adalem after the Task Force completed its first round of talks with national sports associations hoping to field entries to the continental meet.
Adalem, who is deputy CDM along with triathlon’s Tom Carrasco and lawn tennis’ Romeo Magat, said the criteria set is gold medal in the last SEA Games, top five ranking in Asia or top 20 in the world.
He said the submission of entries by name will be in August, giving Asiad hopefuls enough time to meet the criteria.
In measurable sports, the selection is easier because the athletes’ personal best can be compared with Asian Games and Asian Championship levels.
Adalem, the SBP treasurer, is in charge of team sports cluster that includes basketball, rugby and softball, which are shoo-ins due to their previous achievements in the international competition.
He said each NSA was given time to present its case to the Task Force, which had been meeting every day the past two weeks.
The teams that underwent screening included women’s handball. Off-hand, he said the Amigas, third placers in the recent SEA championships, have very slim chances of making it.