The 2023 SEA Games will take place in May next year in Cambodia and with just over six months to go, chef de mission Chito Loyzaga is very clear on his task.
“With the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) calling for maximum participation for our athletes (more than 800 have been identified to compete in 45 of 49 events), my primary responsibility is to ensure that we come up with the best support system for our athletes,” said the baseball head Loyzaga.
As the delegation head, Loyzaga is tasked to coordinate with the National Sports Associations, the POC, the Philippine Sports Commission and the organizing group, to make sure the logistical needs of the delegation will be met in terms of plane tickets, uniforms, lodging and local transportation, considering there are two other venues outside of Phnom Penh.
“I am not involved with the training of athletes, that is the concern of the NSAs though I believe the training of our athletes has been continuous right after the Vietnam SEA Games last May.
There has been no estimate yet as to the possible number of golds to be targetted, but 608 are at stake with host Cambodia doing everything to increase their chances of faring well, as it is their first time to host the SEA Games.
He also acknowledges that men’s basketball will be under scrutiny of local fans after losing the gold to Indonesia in the last SEA Games in Vietnam.
“But I am sure the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will be doing its best to come up with a different result this time, I believe in the leadership of the NSA,” he said.
Ironically his own sport of baseball, and softball, are not included in next year’s list of events.