by Nick Giongco
After rubbing elbows with national sports association leaders last week, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘‘Butch’’ Ramirez is scheduled to get the pulse of the national coaches in the runup to the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Ramirez, also chief of mission to the Nov. 30-Dec.11 sportsfest, is determined to take full advantage of the Philippines being the host with one major mission.
“The target is to win the overall championships,” said Ramirez, who believes that the dialogue with the coaches will be crucial in achieving this goal.
Ramirez said that while he understands the Phisgoc’s desire to leave a lasting impression among among SEA neighbors, the ultimate achievement is winning the most number of gold medals.
“We are spending billions so we better win the overall title,” said Ramirez, referring to the P6 billion earmarked by the government for the holding of the SEAG.
There will be 529 golds at stake in 56 sports and the Philippine Olympic Committee is rallying the athletes to win 120 gold medals, a number enough to hand the Philippines first place in the medal standings.
Ramirez said the Philippine delegation will hit 2,000, including 1,600 athletes.
Metro Manila is going to host high-profile sports like basketball, boxing and volleyball but swimming and athletics will be held in the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, which is being hyped as the SEAG’s main hub.
Cities in Central and Southern Luzon are also holding events.