DANAO CITY - After wrapping up the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association, the Department of Education regional office is now gearing up for the Palarong Pambansa in Tarlac this April.

This will be the region’s top priority after Cebu City ran away with its 17th straight overall title in the Cviraa yesterday in Danao City.

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The Niños finished with 801.5 points for first, while Cebu Province settled for second with 529.67. Bohol got third with 327.75 and Mandaue was at fourth with 212.92.

After a week of competing against each other, the region’s top bets will have less than two months to work together as they try to improve on its perennial fourth-place finish in the Palarong Pambansa.

Resource Mobilization Special Programs and Projects chief Vivian Ginete said they already have an initial list of athletes who will represent Region 7 during their meeting yesterday morning.

While most come from Cebu City, there are also several athletes from the Cebu Province, Bohol and Dumaguete.

They will hold a a final selection to decide who goes to the Palarong Pambansa.

Region 7 took fourth last year by just four points from Region 12.

“We want to make sure that we keep a strong hold of the fourth place. Our goal is either to improve the ranking or maintain it,” said DepEd Regional Director Recaredo Borgonia.

Borgonia said once they name the athletes for the Palaro, they will right away get into training. This time however, Borgonia said, they will ask help from well-meaning patrons to help them hone the athletes more.

“We will link with the sports associations and patrons to help our delegations prepare for the Palarong Pambansa. It has been shown in the past that the support of the LGUs and other sectors in the community are vital to the success of our sports programs,” said Borgonia.

Meanwhile, Cebu City head Nenita Pardenilla said this year’s finish was better than last year’s.

“We are all very happy that we were able to keep the title. We posted more points this year compared to last year because we won in more events,” said Pardenilla.

As to the incentives, Pardenilla said she is not expecting it because the city already spent for the entire delegation.

Pardenilla added she could not wait for the preparation for the Palaro.

“Our director has so many plans, one of which is to train our coaches. We can’t wait to get started,” said Pardenilla.