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SEA Games squash event moved to Manila Polo Club

By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--The Squash Rackets Federation of the Philippines decided to transfer the venue of the Southeast Asian Games squash tournament to the Manila Polo Club here. The development was confirmed by the SRFP through the PSC on Monday.

This after it was determined that the construction of the new squash court at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila will not be completed before the start of the squash tournament on Dec. 1.

"It is unfortunate that the facility being constructed inside the Rizal Memorial will not be completed in time for the SEA Games," said Robert Bachmann, the president of squash.

But he is also grateful for PSC president Butch Ramirez that his organization still gave the national squash team something where it can train and even host local and international events.

"We’re also lucky because we now have a place we can call home," Bachmann continued. "We have been renting competition and training venue for the longest time and through the effort of the PSC, we were finally given a new facility that we can use in future events."

However, Bachmann rued that the arena switch took a toll in the Philippine squash team's gold medal chances.

Two events, the jumbo doubles and the mixed doubles, where many believe will give the Philippines two golds, were canceled, reducing the number of events to five, the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s team, women’s team and mixed team competitions. This tempered Bachmann's gold projection a bit as he now sees one or two golds that the host squad will take.

“We have good chances in men’s singles,” Bachmann continued. “But if Jemyca Aribado would play well, we might also clinch a gold in the women’s singles.”

Joining Aribado in the Philippine team are Robert Garcia, Reymark Begornia, Alyssa Dalida, David Pelino, Christopher Buraga, and Jimmie Avila.

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