SEA Games 2019: PH polo aims for country’s 1st gold

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine polo could play a vital role in the country’s all-out bid to win the overall Southeast Asian (SEA) Games championship since the first gold is likely to come in one of the polo events. 

The 0 Goals Mix event will be held from November 10 to 17 and the final is slated to happen on November 29 – a day before the event officially opens.

“Hopefully we can produce the first gold and set things in motion for Team Philippines,” said United Polo Players Association (UPPA) Chairman Emeritus Representative Mikee Romero.

The two other events are the 5-8 Goals that will take place on November 20 to 26, while the 2-4 Goals event will happen on December 2 to 9. Both final matches are scheduled on December 9.

Polo – which offers 3 golds – became the 56th sport in the list of events that will be contested in the biennial meet. 

"It was a huge relief for all of us after PHISGOC gave us the green light to stage our sport," added  Romero. "All our efforts did not go down the drain and we thank Mr. (Ricky) Vargas and Representative (Bambol) Tolentino for their all-out support." 

Even Federation International Polo (FIP) Zone D President Peter Predevilla was delighted with the inclusion of the sport in the 30th edition of the SEA Games as he hailed Romero for being passionate in his effort to make polo tournament very successful.

"I look forward to working with you and make this the outcome a success. FIP places a high priority on the SEA Games outcomes and for all the countries that participate and especially in ensuring the reputation of the host country," said Predevilla of Romero.

Predevilla was also impressed with the preparation being undertaken in the Miguel Romero Field in Calatagan, Batangas that he immediately approved the main venue. 

With the formal inclusion of their sport, Romero, UPPA president Coco Garcia and Secretary-General Jun Juban have vowed to fast-track the upgrading of the existing facilities and construction of the other playing grounds of the rich and powerful in the region.

“With the support of PHISGOC and POC we’ll do everything to make our event a big success,” said Garcia.

Other officials of the association are Tonio Veloso as executive-general and Jun Eusebio as vice chairman. – Rappler.com