BRUNEI - Davao City's almost 90-member delegation arrived here safely late Tuesday evening, December 4, with a warm welcome from host organizers, Philippine Embassy staff, OFW Global Movement Empowerment at the Brunei International Airport and secretariat team of the Philippine Sports Commission.
The 24-member Palawan delegation also arrived over an hour later via Royal Brunei with Philippines chef de mission PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey.
A bus then brought them to the Wafa Hotel and Apartment where they are currently housed for the entire duration of the biennial Games that will formally open on Friday, December 7.
Competition, however, started in lawn balls Tuesday but the Philippines has no entry in the sport as well as in pencak silat.
Dabawenyos-bannered Mindanao-Philippines will make its debut in swimming and sepak takraw events that will get underway today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex and Bolkiah Garrison Multi-Purpose Hall, respectively, in Bandar Seri Begawan.
The swimmers, according to coach Haroon Cali, trained at the venue yesterday morning and will return again in the afternoon.
He earlier said that though the team is composed mostly of young swimmers, they may still pull off surprises based on their best time.
"May chances naman na mag-medal kasi kung basehan ang mga time nila, okay man, may laban din," Cali said. The 20-member city swimming team parades Batang Pinoy Mindanao, National Scuaa Meet, National Prisaa and Palarong Pambansa medalists including Palaro 2018 gold medalist Julianna Rodriguez.
A total of 32 gold medals are at stake in swimming.
Meanwhile, Mindanao's sepak takraw team will play Sarawak at 9 a.m. and Sulawesi Selatan at 2 p.m. in quadrant category today. Its regu team will collide with Sabah at 12 p.m. in regu event.
Dabawenyo head coach Grendel Ilogon, in an interview with SunStar Davao, said that they will do their best to improve their ranking from the past editions where they accounted for silver or bronze.
"Some of our players have graduated already and we have rookies in the team," he said in the vernacular, downplaying their chances with the presence of strong teams from the host country and Indonesia.
On the other hand, a flag-hoisting ceremony is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.