DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 April) – Stung by setbacks in two crucial ballgame championship matches and its failure to snatch a single gold in swimming, the Davao Region bowed to Central Visayas in this year’s National Collegiate Games of the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) in Zamboanga city which ended Thursday.
Central Visayas banked on its powerhouse swimming team, which bagged 21 gold medals, to emerge as the champion with a 70-53-67 gold-silver-bronze harvest.
Apart from being outclassed by the CV swimmers, Davao Region absorbed losses in the men’s basketball and women’s volleyball championships in the final day and ended the competition with a 66-59-42 medal tally.
Last year’s champion National Capital Region did not send a delegation.
Western Visayas (Region 6), second runnerup last year, and which reportedly competed without athletes from Negros Occidental, placed third with a 58-59-79 medal performance followed by Calabarzon (58-43-47) and Bicol Region (13-12-23).
Calabarzon played the spoiler’s role by eking out a hard-fought victory in men’s basketball and women’s volleyball frustrating the Davao Region’s bid to dominate the games.
“We could have overtaken the (gold) medal count of Region VII in the final day if we won the gold medal match in men’s basketball and women’s volleyball,” Joaquin Sarabia, Davao Region assistant executive director, told MindaNews in a phone interview.
The national PRISAA games follows a team medal count based on the number of players on the playing field or court during a game.
Calabarzon cagers beat Davao, 82-75, in the men’s basketball gold medal match while its female spikers prevailed 22-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-16, over Davao also.
Davao’s track stars helped vastly in the region’s gold production by topping several events in the medal-rich sport discipline.
Not to be outdone in the team competition, Davao won the gold in women’s basketball, men’s and women’s beach volleyball and sepak takraw.
But it just failed to win the pivotal team events on the final day, according to Sarabia.
“The athletes performed very well. We are happy with the outcome of our performance,” he said.
In a statement, PRISAA national chairman Dr. Emmanuel Angeles thanked Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat and the athletes and officials who took part in the six-day sports event.
“Once again, on behalf of the PRISAA national board, we would like to thank Mayor Lobregat and the city of Zamboanga for being gracious and hospitable hosts once again of the Games for the past six days,” Angeles said.
Zamboanga City has hosted the games four times already, including its revival in 1991. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)