Nonong Araneta


Olympic chief of mission Nonong Araneta said on Tuesday that the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is messing up the timetable of Filipino athletes gearing up for berths to Tokyo 2020.

“The health and safety of our athletes are our utmost concern,” said Araneta as he prepares to review the program and budget proposal of 16 national sports association leaders aspiring to send their athletes to the Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo2020 is scheduled July 24 to August 9 with Araneta, whose appointment as CDM was made possible by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Bambol Tolentino, the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) at the forefront of the preparations.

Araneta said 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist and recently-crowned World Cup queen Hidilyn Diaz and other rising weightlifters are eyeing to set up training camp in China “where the facilities are excellent and our relationship with them is fine”

“But as of the moment, we have to find another venue where they can train,” said Araneta.

The coronavirus epidemic has scrapped and postponed big major events across China and it is not clear when the situation not only in China but across the globe would return to normalcy as cases are soaring and deaths are beginning to mount.

Last Jan. 24, the 16 NSAs beat a deadline imposed by PSC chairman Butch Ramirez for them to furnish his agency documents detailing their respective Olympic programs.

Athletics, aquatics, basketball (3×3), boxing, cycling, golf, gymnastics, judo, karate, kayak, rowing, skateboarding, table-tennis, taekwondo, triathlon and weightlifting were identified as NSAs with talent aiming to make the Olympic grade in various tournaments in the coming months.


Fifteen games of the ASEAN Basketball League have been rescheduled due to travel restrictions caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The league said yesterday that the affected games originally scheduled from Feb. 8 to March 1 are those from Hong Kong Eastern, Macau Black Bears and the Macau Wolf Warriors. The three teams are located in areas where several countries have imposed temporary travel bans.

One of the games rescheduled is San Miguel Alab Pilipinas’ home meeting with the Black Bears on Feb. 16 at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna. (With a report from Jonas Terrado)

Source: Manila Bulletin