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Football, Basketball’s fate known today

Whether a men’s football team and a women’s basketball team will be sent to compete in the Southeast Asian Games will be known today when the SEA Task Force meets to decide on the fate of the two squads.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has assigned Myanmar SEAG chief of mission Jeff Tamayo and POC chairman Tom Carrasco to discuss the matter with the officials of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and then come up with a decision.

The football association needs to know by tomorrow if its under-23 team can go to the SEA Games.

PFF president Nonong Araneta said a team to play in Myanmar has long been formed and even its training camp in Bahrain and Japan has been set. What is only missing is the POC’s go signal.

The women’s basketball team, meanwhile, is also having problems, as it can’t have a team until after the FIBA Asia in Bangkok in late-October.

The POC wants to know how this team will perform in this tournament and then decide whether it has a chance to win a medal in Myanmar.

But the SBP is racing against time. Myanmar has advanced the deadline to submit all lineups by Oct. 10, which is too early as the FIBA Asia for women end of October.

When officials of the PFF and SBP meet with the SEA Games Task Force, they must convince them that they deserve to go to Myanmar.

Which will be an uphill battle for the SBP and PCC since top officials of the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission have already said earlier that these two teams have no chance of winning medals.

So far, 162 athletes have been approved for inclusion to Myanmar with about 60 still eyeing berths, including football and basketball.