MANILA – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Monday named baseball federation head Joaquin “Chito” Loyzaga as Team Philippines chef de mission (CDM) to the 2023 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Cambodia.
Appointed as Loyzaga’s deputies in the regional sports meet set from May 5 to 16 were Philippine Sambo Federation president Paolo Tancontian and canoe-kayak head coach and international technical official Leonora “Len” Escollante.
The three will officially exercise their functions after the POC General Assembly on Sept. 28.
“Their handling of their respective NSAs [national sports associations] and their management skills make them deserving of the posts,” said POC chief Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino in a press statement released to the media.
The 32nd edition of the SEA Games will feature 608 events in 49 sports to be held in the capital city of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia's second largest city.
“I want to express my appreciation to POC President Bambol for his trust and confidence in me to be the head of the Philippine delegation for Cambodia SEA Games,” said the 64-year-old Loyzaga, who is current president of the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association of the Philippines. The former Philippine Basketball Association player also served as commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission.
“It’s a big challenge for the Philippines to perform well, as well as the other countries, because of the number of sports favoring the host country,” added Loyzaga, who was appointed deputy CDM in the 2010 Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman.
Tancontian described his appointment as "another milestone in my career".
"I couldn't be more grateful to the God Almighty and to the people who believes in me. With the trust and responsibility vested in me, I am genuinely grateful. I accept this challenge with humility and determination," he said.
Though she was surprised with the appointment, Escollante gladly accepted the role, saying: "It’s a privilege so I will be doing my best to carry out my task."
“I thank the POC for the trust, and rest assured, I’ll do my best to deliver with excellence," said Escollante, who won the Best Setter award when the Philippines won its last gold medal in women’s volleyball during the 2003 Singapore SEA Games. (PNA)