People's Journal

People's Journal

Clarkson tries out 6 ‘barongs’

JAKARTA—An Asian Games Johnny-come-lately, Filipino-American basketball player Jordan Clarkson will be trying out six new Barong Tagalogs to fit his size as he takes the spotlight as the country’s standard-bearer during the opening ceremonies of the continental sports showcase on Saturday at the sprawling Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here.

“Those were only oversize ones left so we shipped them out as fast as we can,” said national team chef de mission Richard Gomez, who arrived on a Philippine Airlines flight here on Friday night together with some Filipino athletes, of the national costume designed by noted couturier Randy Ortiz. “I hope one of those fits Jordan.”

Made out of silk, the Barong sports an embroidered  “harimanok” design and sun on both breasts  and will be worn by the over 270-man national contingent, with the 6-foot-4 Cleveland Cavalier mainstay at the helm,  during the inaugural rites starting at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. in Manila) Saturday at the 80,000-capacity stadium.

Gomez bared that he had endorsed Clarkson as the flag-bearer to Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Pato Gregorio “because Clarkson is a good role model who has reached the pinnacle of being a Filipino basketball athlete by playing in the NBA. He will inspire our other athletes here to do well.”

He pointed out that bestowing the honor on Fil-Am was also sending a message that “whether you are Filipino born overseas or locally, we are just one big sports family.”

Tough outing

JAKARTA—For the first time in 36 years, the Philippine women’s volleyball team will finally see action in the Asian Games.

The Nationals formally landed at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport here around noon Friday and immediately checked in at the Athletes Village at the Kemayoran area.

They will skip the opening-day parade to train in preparation for a blockbuster match against regional rival Thailand on Sunday.

“That’s the consensus of the team,” said Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. president Peter Cayco before sending off the Nationals to this prestigious 18th edition of the 45-nation tournament.

“We need this training session because the game on Sunday (against Thailand) will be very tough. As much as possible, we want to make an impression that we also deserve to be here.”

The last time the Philippines saw action in the women’s volleyball competition of the Asian Games was in 1982.

They won the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 1993 and emerged as a perennial podium-finisher together with rivals Thailand and Indonesia.

But after winning the bronze medal in the Manila SEA Games in 2005, the country failed to send a women’s volleyball squad to the biennial regional tourney.

That spell was broken in 2015 when the LVPI sent a team to the Singapore SEA Games. It was followed by a couple of international tourneys before seeing action in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year.

This year, the team is reaching another milestone.

“Our players were not born yet the last time we played in the Asian Games. So making it here is already a major achievement for Philippine volleyball,” Cayco said.

After Thailand, the squad will face Japan on Tuesday, Hong Kong on Thursday, and Indonesia on Saturday.

Cayco said the goal is to make it to the quarterfinals.

“We want to make it to the quarterfinals,” said Cayco, adding that a victory over Hongkong will put them in the Round of Eight.

“If we beat Hongkong, we’ll get to the quarterfinals. I also think we can get past Indonesia.”

Skipper Aby Marano is at the helm together with Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, Dawn Macandili, Kim Fajardo, Mika Reyes, Cha Cruz, Majoy Baron, Kianna Dy, Julia Morado, Maika Ortiz and the returning Dindin Manabat.

Shaq Delos Santos is the head coach with Kungfu Reyes and Brian Esquibel as assistants.

Tired wushu bets to skip opening rites

JAKARTA—The entire national wushu team has decided to skip the 18th Asian Games opening ceremonies here on Saturday so it could focus on the competitions at the Jakarta International Expo, according to national sanda (sparring) head coach Jessie Aligaga.

‘Pagod na ang mga athletes, tapos weigh-in at training pa bukas (Saturday) so hindi na sila makakasali sa opening ceremonies,” said Aligaga of his charges, who arrived here together with him close to midnight on Friday with some members of the fencing and softball teams.

Among those affected are 2014 Incheon Asian Games silver medalist Daniel Parantac and Agatha Krystenzen Wong, who bagged a gold and silver medal in taolu (forms) at the 2017 Malaysia Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur last year.

A SEA Games gold medalist in the 2013 edition held in Myanmar, Aligaga cited the case of Jean Claude Saclag, an Incheon 2004 Asiad silver medalist, who went down to 48 kilos from his former 52-kilogram class so he could see action here.

“Katulad ni Jean Claude, gutom na gutom na yan just to make his fighting weight para sa weigh-in sa Sabado kaya di na siya makakadalo sa opening ceremonies,” he said.

Making her Asian Games debut is Wong, 21, a 2016 world junior champion in taolu, who said that she did not regret not being part of the inaugural ceremonies, saying: “As long I can do my very best here and make my country proud I will be content.”

Duterte hands off on veep protest case

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has no intention of influencing the decision of the electoral tribunal when he said he wants former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to succeed him if he steps down, a Palace official said Friday.

Duterte earlier said Vice President Leni Robredo does not have what it takes to run a country, but added that he might resign if Marcos or Senator Francis Escudero would be named as his replacement.

“I think that was more of a comparison between the vice president and Mr. Marcos given the qualifications that the two have,” Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said.

“He just wants to compare this particular person to another,” he said.

Robredo defeated Marcos in the 2016 vice presidential race by 263,473 votes, but a recount is ongoing after the former senator asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to invalidate Robredo’s poll victory in 2016.

Panelo said Duterte has no power over other constitutional bodies handling Marcos’ election case against Robredo.

“The president’s statements on matters pending in any court will not affect that particular jurisdiction with respect to any decision it will make,” he said.

Robredo earlier said she intends to serve office until 2022, when her vice presidential term expires.

  • Published in Nation
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