Cebuano pilot eyes seag gold

A CEBUANO captain for Philippine Airlines will ditch his day job for the next few days and aim for a different target, a gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Ditto Nestor Dinopol who is from Ginatilan and who flies the Airbus 320 for PAL, is a highly bemedaled practical shooter, having won a total of two gold and two silver medals at the 43rd Southeast Asia Shooting Championship in August 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The sharpshooting pilot will aim for a hometown victory at the shooting event on Dec. 3, 2019 at the Marine Corps Training Center in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.

He won’t be the only PAL employee in the games as PAL steward Christopher Policarpo will be donning the country’s colors in underwater hocky on Dec. 3, 2019.

On the other hand, after a few days marred by mishaps in preparations, the Philippines finally gets to showcase its readiness as the 2019 Southeast Asian Games formally opens Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Philippine Sports Arena in Bulacan.

This is the first time the opening ceremony will be done indoors and the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) has promised a one-of-kind opening ceremony that will wow the visitors.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, an eight-time world champion, will also lead the lighting of the official flame at the New Clark City Sports hub, which was built for the SEA Games.

Meanwhile, members of the SEA Games Federation expressed their unanimous support before the official start of the 30th SEA Games during a meeting at the Quest Hotel on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019.

Philippine Olympic Committee president and SEA Games Federation President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino presided over the meeting, assisted by ExecutIve Committee Chairman Celso Dayrit.

“As the immediate past host of the SEA Games, we understand what you are going through and we express full support for all your efforts especially as this is the biggest ever, with a record-breaking 56 sports,” said Olympic Council of Malaysia president Mohamad Norza Zakaria.

Normally, the Games feature only about 36 disciplines.

Indonesian National Olympic Committee President Raja Sapta Oktohari echoed Zakaria’s statement and said, “This hosting is historic, and I commend my good friend President Tolentino for his pioneering effort in getting all these sports in the Philippine SEA Games.”

The Philippines is hoping to win its second overall title in the biennial meet in 14 years. (ML with PR)