BAGUIO City is keen on reclaiming the football title when the 2019 edition of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (Caraa) kicks off February 26 to March 3 hosted by Apayao Province.
With barely a week to go before the largest sports meet in the region opens, coach Aries Bocalan is optimistic the Summer Capital can finally stop Benguet’s dominance in the football competition.
“Benguet is still a power house specially sa elementary. But I think we have the tools to beat them,” said Bocalan.
Since 2015, Benguet has been on top of the elementary football competition while its secondary squad dethroned Baguio during the 2018 edition held in Abra after three straight gold medals.
Bocalan said Baguio’s elementary and high school squad needs to shape out as they expect tougher competition during the weeklong tournament.
“We see tough competition this time like Abra, Apayao and Ifugao. I think nag level up din yung training nila so kailangan mag double time sa training yung mga bata,” he added.
Bocalan added the futsal squad will also try to defend the title.
The weeklong meet will feature 23 sports including three new events, aero gymnastics, pencak silat, and dance sports with bulk of the games to be played at the Apayao Ecotourism and Sports Complex in Luna town.
Host province Apayao and the Department of Education (DepEd) earlier signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to ensure the successful staging of Caraa.
Under the MOA, DepEd and Apayao “will coordinate for the necessary security measures, transportation and communication, and other requirements for the conduct of the 2019 CARAA meets including the playing facilities and billeting quarters for the participating divisions and regional technical officials.”
Apayao’s preparation of the annual sports meet is now in full swing with the installation of its rubberized track oval at the Apayao Ecotourism and Sports Complex located in Payanan, in Luna town.
For this year's CARAA, Tabuk City will compete separately with Kalinga Province.
Kalinga, together with Tabuk City, placed 6th last year after bagging 16 golds, 22 silvers and 49 bronze medals with perennial champion Baguio running away with 222-102-61 medal haul.