Rowing squad alters gameplan

With the sport not being played at all in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, the Philippine rowing team is gearing towards a solid showing in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou with Tokyo Olympics veteran Cris Nievarez being eyed to compete in the World Championships in Serbia instead.

The Serbian worlds happens from 3 to 10 September and the timing is ideal as the Asian Games will take the spotlight a couple of weeks later.

National team coach Edgardo Maerina said the pointers shared by foreign coach Shukrat Ganiev would still find their way to the gameplans of Nievarez and the rest of the national team mainstays.

"Whatever the strategy the foreign coach presents tonus, we always adapt it. Even if he is not here, we still know the strategies on how to condition our athletes," Maerina said.

Maerina was hoping to see Nievarez and company redeem themselves after a paltry two silver and six bronze medals showing in the Hanoi SEA Games last year.

In 2019 when Manila hosted the SEA Games, rowing took three gold medals courtesy of Nievarz (lightweight men's single sculls), Melcah Jen Caballero (lightweight women's single sculls and lightweight women's doubles) and Joanie Delgaco (lightweight doubles sculls).

Nievarez has the distinction of being only the third Filipino — after Maerina and Benjie Tolentino — to see action in the Olympics.

Maerina took part in Seoul (1986) while Tolentino participated in Sydney (2000).

Daily Tribune