UNIVERSITY of Mindanao (UM) Matina comes alive with the revival of the Ched Regional Meet among the best of colleges and universities of the Davao Region in a showcase both athletic, intellectual and cultural showmanship.

All the participants are in high state of competitiveness in the different ball games and track and field as we visited the different games held mostly at the vast expanse of the combined athletic and educational facility established by the UM.

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Unlike the Prisaa where only private schools are allowed to compete, the national sporting event organized by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) also covers state colleges and public schools.

Ched, however, leans on the expertise and experience of the Prisaa people to stage the sports and cultural events.

The big boys of the Prisaa in Davao were there such as Abe Verdeprado of the Holy Cross of Davao College and Boy Sarabia of the host UM Matina Campus. Also lending support to the unified search for old and new talents are the different sports directors of UIC, JMC, Addu and all the Ched-supervised schools and members of the Private Schools Athletic Associations.

Davao del Sur in volleyball men was an easy prey to the Davao City team 3 sets to 1 so with the volleyball women against the JMC-dominated Davao City team.

Davao del Norte squandered a 10-point lead most of the time in the 4th quarter to give Davao del Sur breathing space in the overtime and lost their first game in basketball men.

Basketball men category is being contested by the original Davao quartet of Davao City, Del Sur, Del Norte and Oriental.

Except for the failure of lanky but beautiful slotman Conrad Fernando to play in the first game against Mati, Davao City is expected to dominate the games with the team manned mostly by Ateneo de Davao stalwarts of Solitaria-Guingguing-Sencio with and the reinforcement of the best from JMC, UM, Agro and Holy Cross of Davao College. Ateneo beat HCDC by a hairline, just one point in the Davao City side of the meet to anchor the Durians to the 3-day Ched Regional championship.

Coach Rudy Salvador went later in the afternoon of the opening day Friday to lend support to the Davao City team in basketball where his son Caloy is a member of the coaching staff headed by Coach Cholo.

Rudy has not lost touch with the game that has sent him to college and grateful up to today with the college scholarship he got as a former UM Maroon. Rudy said he could not be where he is today without the scholarship.

Expect him to give back to sports the little success that he had achieved as a basketball player by establishing his own version of a combined NCAA-UAAP like Mindanao-wide sports competition.

His team of convenors is expected to organize a core group of the academe and sports leaders from the different colleges and universities to start the ball rolling and give Mindanao talents better chances by establishing more avenues for using their athletic talents to ensure a good future.

Abe Verdeprado said that the more events for sports the better as it will further hone the talents of the trained athletes and give them wider exposure and experience.

Emar Learning Center President Ma. Lita Montalban, proponent of a more unified exchange of ideas and learning experiences to develop the Davao and Mindanao youth, is actively doing her part as the acknowledged Iron Lady of Davao sports.

We also expect our friends and supporters in the different universities and colleges to lend support in the planning and organizational stages of a much bigger and better sporting event.

Prisaa Beat: They are not yet that competitive. But we welcome their participation, said Joaquin Sarabia.