MANILA, Philippines—Basketball games of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games have been moved from Mall of Asia to Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Ramon “Tats” Suzara, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) executive director, revealed in a radio interview with Judith Caringal of Radyo Pilipinas 2 the apparent swerve in scheduling.
Suzara admitted that the sudden change of venue was due to the difficulty in reserving a slot at either MOA Arena or Smart Araneta Coliseum since these stadiums are privately-owned and the dates from Nov. 30 to Dec.11 may have been booked before Phisgoc got a chance to do so.
“It’s hard to secure bookings if the confirmation takes a long process, but we have a backup plan and we’re able to find a solution,” said Suzara in Filipino.
Basketball wasn’t the only sport to change venues with volleyball getting bumped to PhilSports Arena, a venue that belongs to the Philippine Sports Commission, from Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Gymnastics was also changed from SMX Convention Center to Rizal Memorial Coliseum, another venue that the PSC owns.
Even eSports competitions are left without a venue after Marriott Hotel in Pasay after the Phisgoc, Suzara said, backed off because of the price.
“The SEA Games has a limited budget so we’re looking at other venues that the organizing committee can afford,” said Suzara in the radio interview.
Suzara also admitted that Congress has yet to approve for the organizing committee’s budget further clouding the Philippines’ hosting of the regional multisport spectacle.
“The budget has yet to be approved in Congress,” said Suzara. “Despite these delays, we’ll continue to move forward and make sure the venues are ready and confirmed.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.