Dale Evangelista (left) and Mayor Isko Moreno of Manila

As the City of Manila prepares its vaccination program for its residents against COVID-19, former national water polo team star Dale Evangelista sees it as a very good sign to roll out the sports programs of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

With the help of the national team, Evangelista said Tuesday they are ready to jumpstart Domagoso’s desire of turning the city as the country’s water polo capital.

“It’s a very good development considering that there are plans now on how to proceed with the vaccination program once the vaccines are here. As what the Mayor mentioned, it’s important to get the vaccination before we start with the sports programs,” said Evangelista.

“Of course, the health worker should get the vaccine first because they’re at the frontline in this battle against COVID-19, then our senior citizen’s, then the next one until the city gets all its residents vaccinated.”

Moreno said he wants to turn Manila as the water polo capital of the Philippines; similar to what Barcelona did in Spain and the province of Kashiwazaki in Japan.

Evangelista said that residents of the city would be the main target for this program as they hope to develop future national team athletes for water polo – a sport where the country won two silver medals in the Southeast Asian Games, the latest was in 2019 here.

The program, according to Evangelista – a member of the water polo national team coaching staff – would involve all six districts in the city.

Together with water polo players Roy Cañete, Tani Gomez and Maui Valdez, and coach Ricardo Dilapdilap, they conducted ocular inspection in five possible venues for the program, which aims to start in April.

They visited the Vitas Aquatic Complex, Andalucia Complex, Dapitan Complex, Bagong Buhay Complex and the JCC Complex – all under the care of the Public Recreation Bureau.

Manila Sports Council (MASCO) officer-in-charge Roel De Guzman was also present during the ocular inspection.

“The good thing about the program is that after Mayor Isko gave us the approval, right away we worked with MASCO, we identified the aquatic centers and visited them,” said Evangelista, also the chairman of Barangay 56 in Manila.

“So meaning, anytime we are ready to implement the program. We’re also ready with the health guidelines because we have to adhere to the strict protocol of the government,” added Evangelista, who has national team coach Rey Galang as consultant for the program.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/02/09/manilas-water-polo-program-to-start-in-april/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=manilas-water-polo-program-to-start-in-april)