Prisaa 11 eyes No. 2 spot

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Thursday, January 31, 2013


FROM fourth place in Cebu City last year, the 335-member Southern Mindanao Region delegation aims to grab the second over-all finish when the 2013 National Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) Championship unfurls in Pangasinan on February 11 to 16.

Prisaa regional executive director Joaquin "Boy" Sarabia, who guested at the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at Dexter's Pizza Stadium in Matina on Thursay, said: "We will try to get back at No. 2. That's the best finish we have made so far in the nationals two years ago and in two other previous editions. Defending champion Central Visayas remains to be toughest team to beat every year since they are strong both in individual and team events."

Sarabia said the Cebuanos-bannered Central Visayas usually dominate medal-rich swimming and athletics aside from making it in most championships of team events like football, basketball and volleyball.

"We were beaten by Central Visayas by only six golds for the over-all title in 2011. It's every region's goal to be No. 1 but given our limited resources and lack of facilities, we end up either second or third. We dropped to fourth in 2012 since most of our top athletes have already graduated but we managed to win four championships."

He admitted that the region needs to have a standard track oval and swimming pool to boost its athletes' chances in national competition considering that athletics and swimming are events that stake the most medals.

He, however, said that Prisaa-Southern Mindanao is bent on defending the men's baseball, women's beach volleyball and men's sepak takraw crowns.

He added that the football team stands a better for the title this year as the University of Mindanao (UM) Davao team is beefed up by strong players from UM Tagum and the Rizal Memorial Colleges.

The bulk of the region's delegation will leave at 10 p.m. on Feb. 7 via a convoy of five passenger buses going to Cagayan de Oro City where they will then board a Negros Navigation passenger ship to Manila. From Manila, they will take the bus going to Pangasinan.

Sarabia said, "We can't afford to have everyone take the plane. Some 60 players, coaches and officials will be taking the plane via Clark while the rest of us will be taking the ship."

Of the region's P2.8-million budget for the Pangasinan trip, P1.4 million is spent for plane and boat fares. The budget also covers transportation expenses within Pangasinan, meals for nine days, water and uniforms, among other operational expenses.

Davao del Norte Vice-Governor Victorio "Baby" Suaybaguio and sports coordinator Giovanni Gulanes, meanwhile, will be on hand to join the Prisaa board meeting on Feb. 10 in Pangasinan to bid for the 2014 hosting of the National Prisaa Championship. It will be Mindanao's turn to host the nationals next year. Aside from Davao del Norte, Zamboanga City is also reportedly bidding to host the 2014 edition.

It can be recalled that Prisaa chair Manny Angeles checked out the Davao del Norte Sports Complex during the SM Prisaa regional eliminations held in Tagum City early in January.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 01, 2013.

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