By Dugout Philippines
PUERTO PRINCESA—Senator Bong Go and Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones will be guests of honor when the Batang Pinoy National Finals unfurls on Sunday in this beautiful coastal city located in the Western part of the Philippines.
Go and Briones will represent no less than President Rodrigo Duterte in the opening rights that will be graced by about 10,000 athletes, mostly qualifiers from the three regional legs done in Ilagan, Isabela, Iloilo City and Tagum, Davao del Norte, coaches and officials.
Organizing Philippine Sports Commission chair William “Butch” Ramirez along and commissioners Charles Maxey and Arnold Agustin will also be there along with host Mayor Lucilo Bayron and Governor Jose Alvarez and Games and Amusement Board chair Abraham Mitra.
“It’s all systems go for the National Finals of the Batang Pinoy and we’re ready for the growing number of delegates that will take part in the games,” said PSC deputy executive and Batang Pinoy project director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr.
Baguio will be out to defend its overall title after winning last year’s edition in Baguio although Laguna, which topped the Luzon edition in Ilagan City, Isabela early in the year, and some big city teams mostly from traditional powerhouse National Capital Region are expected to give a serious challenge.
Spots in the national team that will be sent to the Children of Asia Games in Russia next year await the top performers in this week-long, multi-sports meet for in and out-of-school youth children 14 years old and below.
“The worthiest performers here will get the chance to represent the national team to the Children of Asia Games,” said Iroy.
Disciplines that held qualifying competitions and will be played here are centerpiece athletics, swimming, archery, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, dancesports, chess, futsal, karatedo, lawn tennis, pencak silat, sepak takraw, softball, table tennis, taekwondo and indoor and beach volleyball.
Events that will conduct their own finals straight here are cycling, gymnastics, judo, billiards, muaythai, rugby football, triathlon, soft tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.
Bayron, for his part, said they are looking forward to hosting the meet.
“We’re thankful for the opportunity and we’re looking forward to a successful staging,” said Bayron, whose city and the province are expected to receive PHP16 million worth of sports equipment for hosting the games.
Billeting areas already pin-pointed by organizers are Sta. Monica Elem. School, Sta. Monica High School, F. Ubay Memorial Elem. School, Manuel Austria Memorial Elem. School, Sicsican Elem. School, Sicsican High School, Puerto Princesa Science High School, Palawan National School, Puerto Princesa Pilot Elem. School and San Jose Nat'l High School.
Six more billeting areas will be prepared in case there will be additional needs of participants.
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