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PH to send 159 athletes to ASEAN School Games

The Philippines will be represented by 159 athletes led by 2017 Palarong Pambansa medalists in the ASEAN School Games to be held in Singapore on July 13-21.

Department of Education (DepEd) Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali and Philippine Sports Commissioner Charles Maxey will be among the 65 officials who will join the delegation, which is scheduled to leave on July 12.

The two officials will also attend a meeting with the ASEAN Schools Sports Council (ASSC), which is organizing the 9th edition of the tournament that carries the theme, “Together As One”.

Umali said the Philippines aims to improve its fourth-place finish in 2014, the year Manila played host to the tournament for high school students 18 years old and below.

“We have a competitive team. We’re confident of improving our fourth-place finish in 2014,” Umali said during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum at the Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City on Tuesday.

Three years ago, the Philippines won 11 gold medals, 14 silvers and 22 bronzes to finish fourth behind Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

In 2015, the Filipinos captured 17 medals (three golds, three silvers and 11 bronzes) in the tournament hosted by Brunei. Last year, the Philippines did not compete.

Except for tenpin bowling, the Philippines has entries in athletics, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, sepak takraw, swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis and volleyball in this year’s edition.

Some 1,800 are expected to participate in the ASEAN School Games, which aims to promote ASEAN Solidarity among the youth through school sports, provide opportunities for student athletes to gauge their skills in the region, and enable them to interact and engage in cultural exchange with ASEAN.

Jean T. Malanum/PNA