Cris Nievarez, in action in this file photo, becomes the first Filipino rower to make the Games’ quarterfinals. —


MANILA, Philippines—Racing on borrowed boats doesn’t faze the Philippine rowing team in its bid to win multiple medals in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games later this month.

Due to a logistical issue, the Filipino paddlers won’t be able to bring in their own boats in the Vietnamese province of Bac Ninh which is almost a two-hour drive from Hanoi.

“Since last month, the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) already informed us the logistics provider cannot bring it because it has to be brought inside a container van and it’s not like it will be brought to Ho Chi Minh, but it’s two hours outside of Hanoi so the logistics process is very difficult,” said Philippine Rowing Association president Patrick Gregorio on Tuesday during the PSA Forum.

“No one’s fault, it is how it is. In terms of logistics, That’s not just a small piece of equipment that you’re going to bring. These are very big boats,” he added. “We did everything to send our boats, but logistically, the timing is (not right). Not even two months (is enough) to bring in there.”

Other countries outside Vietnam is also facing the same dilemma.

The Vietnam rowing federation, though, has assured the it will provide competition boats to be used during the event from May 9 to 14 at Thuy Nguyen Boat Racing Center.

Nonetheless, the Philippine team, which won three golds in the 2019 SEA Games hosted here, has high hopes about having another bemedalled campaign led by Tokyo Olympian Cris Nievarez.

“Three golds in Subic. It will be tougher in Vietnam, but hopefully, Cris Nievarez can retain his gold medal, and Joanie Delgaco will also compete. She also won gold in Subic,” said Gregorio.

“We’ve been training very hard. No letup. That’s what we’ve been doing ever since.”

Nievarez leads the Philippines’ nine-man team together with CJ Jasmin, Zuriel Sumintac, Van Maxilom, Athens Tolentino, Edgar Ilas, Roque Abala, Joachim De Jesus, and EJ Obana.

Joanie Delgaco, meanwhile, will be at the forefront of the women’s side along with Juliann Sha, Alyssa Go, Feiza Lenton, Amelyn Pagulayan, Mireille Qua, and Kristine Paraon.


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