MANILA – Former athletes rallied behind the Team Philippines, urging the public to unite and support the Filipino athletes who will compete in the 30th Southeast Asian Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
Former Philippine Azkals U22 member Alejandro Baldo Jr., former Gilas Pilipinas team captain Chris Tiu and Philippine badminton team member Anton Cayanan shared the “common problems” they experienced in the past international sports events in their respective social media accounts.
Baldo said the public should pour their energies in support of the athletes rather than find faults on others.
The former midfielder for the Philippine Azkals U22 team shared a video on social media of their past experience where they had to push their double-decker bus in the middle of the road while they were being transported back to their hotel in Bangkok.
“Dahil wais tayong mga Pinoy imbis na magalit at magreklamo ginawa na lang natin to sa pinakamasayang experience (Because we Filipinos are wise, instead of getting angry and complaining, we expressed it in positive experience),” Baldo said.
Baldo said glitches in transportation and food are “natural and inevitable”, stressing what important to them is how they play in the games.
“Problema sa pagkain kasi paulit-ulit, problema sa transpo at kung ano-ano pa. Lahat po yan ay napagdaanan ng mga atletang Pinoy ‘pag tayo po ang dumadayo sa ibang bansa (These problems are common. The Filipino athletes have experienced these every time we compete abroad),” Baldo said.
He shared his past experience during their tune-up game in Thailand in 2012 when they competed in the AFC U22 Championship qualifiers to show that they were not bothered by these problems back then.
Cayanan, meanwhile, also shared his own experience in the 2017 SEA games in Malaysia where their service transportation was delayed and their team was brought to the wrong hotel.
He also recalled that they had “inadequate food supply” in their hotels but eventually the service improved.
“For sure di lang kami ang sports na nakaranas ng mga pagkukulang noong 2017 SEAG (For sure we're not the only sports that experienced shortcomings in 2017 SEAG),” Cayanan said.
Tiu, a former PBA player, also cited the inevitable hitches and inconveniences he personally experienced as a sports delegate before.
“Sports is certainly a great platform to inspire the youth, promote good values and unite a nation. Let us not use it to divide us” Tiu wrote on his Instagram post.
As national athletes who were committed to make their country proud, they did not allow these problems affect their game performance.
Instead, they remained focus on their games and kept a positive outlook all throughout their participation in the international sports event.
They all hope that Filipinos can express more support to the national athletes to boost their morale and confidence so they perform better.
The Philippine hosting of this year’s SEA games is an opportunity for the country to showcase the world-class talents and skills of the Filipino athletes.
Many athletes lament that instead of cheering and supporting the athletes a few days before the official start of the SEA games on Nov. 30, the social media is flooded with negativities and criticisms. (PR)