AS USUAL, Team CDO made a strong head-start in basketball and chess events of the 2010 NMRAA Meet, which opened Tuesday at the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports Center in Cagayan de Oro City.

Powered by the junior varsity players of Sacred Heart, CDO's secondary dribblers encountered some difficult times on the floor, but all the same hurdled a fiery fight with Camiguin and Malaybalay teams for a 2-0 start.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

Coach Boy Dacoco expects Ozamiz as their next sturdy threat for the much-coveted basketball slot to the Palarong Pambansa.

The Ozamiz hoopsters, fresh from a convincing win over Gingoog in the opening round matches, were leading host Misamis Oriental, 26-17 in another exciting duel, still in progress as of this writing.

"Pero maglisod `ta ini karon nga tapada, kay even sa Camiguin kusog gihapon ang ilang linya galisod mi'g daug," shared Manny Diaz, who called the shots for CDO's elementary team backstopped by XU Grade School dribblers.

CDO's perceived weakness in most ballgame events can be gleaned in nearby volleyball matches for secondary girls wherein the homeground spikers went down in defeat at the hands of Malaybalay team.

Misor volleybelles won over Iligan as well as their secondary boys' counterparts against Bukidnon.

"Pero think positive lang gihapon kay daug man among volleyball high school boys kontra Iligan," one CDO team insider, said.

Over at the second floor of MOGCHS's cafeteria, the Corpus Christi tandem of Lennon Heart Salgados and Jason Chezter Coquilla led Team CDO's triumphant start in chess competition.

Exorcizing the ghost of the past, Coquilla scored a quick victory over Ryan Dinagsao on board 2, while Salgados took the long route in top-board duel with Jason Nabotlao that ended with a brilliant sacrificial attack.

Salgados and Coquilla also made it 2-0 against Oroquieta in the opening round. "Pero crucial `tong ilang pagdaug sa Misor kay in the past sakit pud ilang na-experience nga upset sa taga MOGCHS," remarked CDO coach Emmanuel Crisologo whose elementary wards, Tristan Frech Ibaoc and Adrian Othniel Yulo were also victorious.

CDO's elementary girls, Nicole Anne Rivera and Julie Ann Opema likewise breezed through the opening day action -- undefeated, even as coach Sonny Lumancas had suffered just one setback for his secondary girls' chessers.

Alyssa Jamaca made it two in a row on board 1, while Princess Ng rebounded with a slambang win in just her second try after a first-round defeat.

"Top four ang makuha in the ensuing round-robin finals so, dako pag chance maningkamot lang nga mo-straight og daug," Lumancas, said.

Proven and tested in previous NMRAA editions, the city's gymnasts and taekwondo bets are expected to do the same in their own quest for individual medals off the covered court of City Central School.

In lawn tennis, defending Palarong Pambansa champion Bryan Saarenas of Misamis Oriental is deemed for a royale battle with the younger brother of Francis Casey Alcantara, the first Filipino netter to win a doubles grandslam in the prestigious Australian Open.

"Sa ilang mixed doubles, malagmit molutaw gyod kining duha. And this is a very exciting game for lawn tennis fans to watch," one observer, said.