POC chief upbeat on Asiad chances

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The leadership of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is upbeat about the chances of the 150-strong delegation to the 17th Asian Games although president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco could not say the same thing on those competing in combat sports.

“This team will perform much better than the last,” said Cojuangco, who leaves for Incheon on Saturday, a day after celebrating his eighty-something birthday.

Cojuangco said he expects this year’s batch to come up with a more impassive showing compared to the 2010 Guangzhou Games as he noted that the athletes are in terrific condition owing to the strength and conditioning program they undertook in the recent months.

In Guangzhou, the Philippines won three gold medals and while Cojuangco is tight-lipped about how many will be brought home from Incheon, which will be playing host starting tomorrow until Oct. 4, the ex-Tarlac lawmaker insists the Filipino athletes will make more heads turn this time.

Cojuangco said he is deeply concerned about the fate of the athletes vying in combat sports as he believes their NSAs have been unable to know the caliber of their respective foes.

“Our problem is on scouting although we are getting there,” said Cojuangco, convinced that many of the national sports associations sending bets in combat sports have no clear idea of what to expect.

Cojuangco, however, could not categorically say exactly why he thinks scouting has been missed out by the NSAs that he didn’t even name.

Still, the county’s medal hopes will fall on boxing, taekwondo, wushu, bowling and even men’s basketball.

Boxing, bowling and billards won a gold each in Guangzhou.

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