Team Visayas opens defense of Milo title; Tejero disqualified for fielding ineligible player-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
MARIKINA CITY—Team Visayas has done everything to prepare for its title defense of the Milo Little Olympics, even making an unconventional move—disqualifying the elementary boys champion and giving its slot to the second placer.
“We have done everything we can to reinforce the team and that means getting talents from the Palarong Pambansa powerhouse in the Visayas,” said Ricky Ballesteros.
But the drive to win another national title comes second to values. In another round of screening by Team Visayas, the committee found Tejero fielded an ineligible player during the Visayas finals and was stripped of the title. The action starts today and second placer Moalboal will be representing the Visayas.
Values formation is an important part of the Milo Little Olympics. That was why after finding it out, they decided to disqualify Tejero and give their slot to Moalboal.
“The player actually passed the screening in the national level, but when we checked again, in our level, that was when we found out about it. We will be suspending the coach as well,” said Ballesteros.
Moalboal was informed just one week before the national finals that they were competing.
Nonetheless, Ballesteros said Moalboal is a strong contender.
“It defeated Sto. Niño, the team that had represented Visayas in the last three national finals,” Ballesteros said, adding that the Visayas is confident coming into today’s games.
Team Visayas is facing a new challenge from NCR as it tries to extend its dominance in the Milo Little Olympics, something that gnaws at the hosts.
“Hindi lang naman kami. All the other regions all have the same battlecry and that is to beat Visayas,” said NCR head Dr. Roberto Calo.
Milo sports consultant Pat Goc-ong said that he is more than certain that NCR will be giving the fight of their lives this year.
After ruling the Palarong Pambansa for years, NCR has played second fiddle to Visayas in the last three years.
“NCR has always won the Palaro because we get to select the best players. Dito sa Milo, solid kasi. The winning team, for example, will not be able to get reinforcement from other teams to replace the weak players in that team, “ said NCR technical consultant Jovy Mamawal.
“The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. But that will be addressed. We have prepared so hard for this. We are after all playing in our homecourt. We have the strongest players from some of the best schools this year, so beating the Visayas team? It will happen soon. Real soon,” said Calo.
Meanwhile, Rivera also said that they are very excited to see the growing number of participants this year.
“We have more participants, which means more schools are also improving their sports program, which is very good because Milo has always been supporting the grassroots,” said Rivera.
Mindanao and Luzon can also spring a surprise.
“Maybe not for the overall title but we have so many athletes and teams from Mindanao and Luzon who are excelling in different sports.They are still able to make their presence felt in different events,” said Rivera.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2012.