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POC head Tolentino offers PH as backup SEAG host

Don't be surprised if the Philippines hosts the SEA Games again by 2027 the soonest. Jade Moya (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino believes that the Philippines is ready to host a future Southeast Asian Games again.

In fact, the concurrent Cavite congressman revealed on Tuesday that he has offered the country to be a standby host if an originally scheduled host nation begs off.

"I offered again to host if ever there would be countries na magwe-waive," Tolentino said during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

He added that he is looking at possibly taking over either Brunei or Laos as the SEA Games host country.

Brunei is scheduled to host the 2027 SEA Games, while Laos is the next in line.

"Alin man sa dalawa ang mag-back out, nauna akong nag-offer, Tolentino further said. "I was serious with that."

Tolentino also said that he is monitoring the situation in Indonesia especially that it is bidding to host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

Indonesia is scheduled to host the 2031 SEA Games, putting the country at a possibility of hosting major multi-sport meets in consecutive years, something that according to Tolentino they are not looking to do.

"Ang sabi ng Indonesian president (Joko Widodo), baka hindi sila makapag-host, and it's a pleasure if the Philippines will take it," he further said.

The Philippines successfully hosted last year's SEA Games in various locations in Luzon despite some early loopholes like the situation within the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee and billeting matters among early entrants.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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