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National team slots up for grabs as PNG opens

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By Waylon P. Galvez

CEBU CITY – More than 4,000 participants converged in this bustling city yesterday hoping to gain spots for the Asian Games and the national training pool for the start of the Philippine National Games.

Also here for the city’s first hosting of the PNG since 1997 are 200 national athletes eager to prove themselves worthy of representing the country for the Indonesia Asian Games in what is described as a performance qualifying.

“This is what Philippine National Games is all about, a chance for our athletes,” said Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez prior to the PNG’s formal opening.

President Rodrigo Duterte is the guest speaker of the PNG opening ceremonies, where he will address athletes from close to 100 Local Government Units (LGUs).

The government sports agency offers financial rewards to the top five LGUs as overall champion gets P5 million, second placer will receive P4 million, while the third to fifth finishers will earn P3 million, P2 million and R1 million cash incentives, respectively.

Aside from the athletes bidding for Asian Games slots, the PNG also serves as qualifier for athletes aiming to be part of the various national teams for future international competitions.

“We’re looking really forward to finding and identifying new athletes,” said PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez. “This will make the job of the NSAs a lot more easier.”

“They can come here and scout the athletes. They can find the new talents,” Fernandez added.

As for the hosting of the competition in his home province, the four-time PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) expressed confidence that Cebu City, as well as the province is ready.

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Written by Tempo Online

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