THE powerhouse Davao City team is expected to dominate the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) Palaro Regional Meet that unfolds at 9 a.m. today at the University of Mindanao (UM) Matina campus.

Ched regional meet executive director Joaquin "Boy" Sarabia, guesting at the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at the Tower Inn yesterday, said Davao City, which had been topping past Regional Prisaa meets, remains to be the team to beat.

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"Despite the presence of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley teams, host Davao City is still the heavy favorite in most of the events entered in the qualifying meet for the National Games set on Feb. 22 to 28 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila. Regular Prisaa teams like Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur are also competing," Sarabia said.

He said Davao City is composed of the best-selected athletes from all colleges and universities here.

Sarabia said eight academic and cultural events will also be contested during the three-day sportsfest including debate, vocal solo, duet and sayawit, among others.

The meet will feature regular sports being played in Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) Meet like basketball, volleyball, table tennis, tennis, badminton, chess, taekwondo, athletics, swimming, baseball, football, softball and sepak takraw.

Most of the events will be played at UM Matina but swimming will be hosted by the DMMA College of Southern Philippines (DCSP), taekwondo at the University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) and football at the Tionko grounds in Agro-Industrial Foundation College of the Philippines compound.

Ched chair Manny Angeles had been invited as guest speaker of the brief opening rites that will be ushered in by a parade of teams.