MANILA, April 6, 2004
By Abac Cordero - Cebu City got more than what was needed as four more NSAs (national sports associations) agreed to have their respective sports played in the queen city of the south when the country hosts the 23rd Southeast Asian Games next year.

Top officials from judo, karatedo, pencak silat and sepak takraw visited Cebu City last Saturday and made an ocular inspection of the venues being offered by the local government.

They liked what they saw.

"They are not newly-built venues but they are well-maintained and thatís good. And there will be more people watching the games there than here in Manila," said sepak takraw president Mario Tanchango yesterday.

The Philippine SEA games organizing committee (Philsoc) led by its chairman Celso Dayrit is expected to make formal Cebuís hosting of the biennial games in the next few days.

As one of the requirements set by Philsoc, a province must get the nod of at least four NSAs for it to become a satellite venue in the SEA Games which the Philippines is hosting only for the third time after 1981 and 1991.

And as it is, Cebu City has five since dancesport had earlier given the peaceful and orderly southern city the thumbs-up sign. Dancesport will be held at the world-class Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.

Sepak takraw, according to Cebu City sports commission chair Jonathan Guardo, will be held at the Cebu Coliseum while karatedo and pencak silat will be staged at the Mandaue Coliseum. Judo will be at the Waterfront amphitheater.

"They were very happy after seeing our venues. We are very happy to be given this chance to host the SEA Games and show our hospitality. The city government will make a commitment to this no matter who wins the coming elections," said Guardo.

Aside from Cebu City, Bacolod City is one of the satellite venues for the 2005 SEAG and will host boxing, football, weightlifting, water polo and volleyball. The main hub will be Metro Manila with other sports to be played in Subic and Cavite.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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