POC chief Tolentino braces for '2nd half' of reelection bid

POC chief Tolentino braces for '2nd half' of reelection bid

Incumbent POC Bambol Tolentino, middle right, will face Clint Aranas for the agency's top post in the polls set on Friday. Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Incumbent Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino likened his bid for a second straight term to an "old school college basketball game," in which it is only divided into two periods of 20 minutes instead of the current four-quarter format.

Speaking at the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, Tolentino said that he is relieved that the "first half", that is, the decision of the POC election committee to clear him and his party to challenge Clint Aranas for the post, is over.

"Parang old school basketball ng college. Tapos na ang first half," said Tolentino, representing cycling.

On Sunday, the POC EleCom junked the appeal of Aranas' party to disqualify Tolentino, triathlon's Tom Carrasco, gymnastic's Cynthia Carrion-Norton, surfing's George Canlas, and judo's Dave Carter over the issue surrounding the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee and eligibility matters.

All that is left to play is the POC election itself set for Friday at the East Ocean Palace Restaurant in Paranaque.

"We're now waiting for the second half," Tolentino further said.

Should he get a fresh four-year term that will run until just after the 2024 Olympics, Tolentino vowed, "My first move is to reach out to the NSA's (national sports associations) and unite sports and forget the politics. If we can’t unite now, the momentum of our SEA Games success will be wasted. The momentum is still there and there is Tokyo. We should focus on that."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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