The last time the Philippines hosted the Southeast Asian Games, it emerged as overall champion.
But Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas is tempering expectations when the country locks horns against other nations in the 2019 biennial meet to be held here after 13 years.
The goal is simply to improve the standing from sixth place to at least third, said Vargas during the SEA Games Federation press conference at the Shangri-La Hotel in The Fort on Thursday.
Also present were Asian Games Federation president Erick Thohir, Executive director of the SEAG organizing committee Tats Suzara, SEAG federation chairman Celso Dayrit and other officials.
It doesn't mean, though, that they are not aiming to top the regional sports spectacle again that will happen from November 30 to December 10.
"In the previous press con we said we'd like to improve our standing from number six to at least top three. If we can get the overall championship we will of course try to do so," Vargas said.
More than improving the Philippines' standing, it is also hoped that the 2019 edition will be one of the biggest ever. Vargas said people can expect a grandiose opening day at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
"Of course the goal to show our best foot forward," he said. "Filipinos are good at singing and dancing. I'm probably the one-percent that does not know how to sing. We will show them what the Filipino talent is all about."
The games, though, will be held at the Clark New City in Tarlac, which is expected to be finished in July next year, as well as Subic and Metro Manila.
Clark will be the main hub which will host sports such as athletics and baseball. Triathlon, duathlon, windsurfing and the likes will be in Subic while popular games like basketball and volleyball will be held in Metro Manila.
Basketball games will be held at the MOA Arena and Cuneta Astrodome, while volleyball games at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.