By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
Add chef de mission for the Southeast Asian Games to the long list of achievements of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Ramon Fernandez.
This, after the four-time PBA most valuable player was named by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) as head of mission of the country’s delegation for the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, later this year.
The decision to appoint Mr. Fernandez, also a current commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), was arrived at during the POC Executive Board’s first meeting for 2021 on Tuesday at the East Ocean Garden Restaurant in Pasay City.
POC President Abraham Tolentino said the naming of Mr. Fernandez as SEA Games chef de mission was built on their belief on the PSC commissioner’s ability as a sports leader and to continue to foster the good relationship between the two agencies.
They, too, want to sustain the good showing the country had in the 2019 edition of the biennial Games here in the country, where PSC Chairman William Ramirez was the chef de mission and the Philippines ending up winning the overall championship after 14 years.
“We want to give it back to the Philippine Sports Commission which is a constant partner to us. When we won in 2019, Chair Butch was the CDM. So why not give it to one of its own,” said Mr. Tolentino.
Mr. Fernandez, for his part, welcomed his appointment but admitted much work needs to be done if they are to come near, if not duplicate, the SEA Games championship last time around.
Good thing though, he said, is that the country has the 2019 success to turn to as a possible blueprint.
In the Vietnam SEA Games some 40 sports are expected to be played.