5TH BIMP-EAGA GAMES OPENS TODAY

The formal opening rites is set at 3 p.m. at the Governor's Official Residence, though, the games will start tomorrow.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Leon "Binggoy" Montemayor as BIMP-EAGA Sports Council Chairman will give the opening remarks while host South Sulawesi Governor H.M Amin Syanu will declare the three-day friendship games among the focus areas in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines open.

The highlights of the opening ceremonies include the parade of the athletes from the participating countries, various presentations of the host and the oath of sportsmanship.

National flag ceremony where national anthem of the participaing countries will be played is set at 6 a.m. also today before the coaches technical meeting and press conference at the Sahid Hotel.

A total of 14 focus areas from four neighboring countries will vie for top honors in five sports disciplines– athletics, swimming, lawn tennis, pencak silat and sepak takraw.

Team Mindanao is only entered in medal-rich athletics, swimming and lawn- tennis.

Montemayor has expresssed confidence that the 28-man Team Mindanao will have a fruitful campaign.

" The athletes are confident and now ready to get a gold, " said Montemayor.

Mindanawon athletes are now busy gearing up for the competitions at the two main venues– Makassar Sports Complex and Governor's Official Residence tennis court.

Davao City ace netter Elsanto Santos defeated Brunei bet yesterday in their practice match.

The swimmers led by 2004 BIMP-EAGA Games triple gold medallist Nikita Dacera of Gen. Santos City and Davao City ace tanker Carlo Rodriguez are doing well, according to swimming coach Leopoldo Dacera.

Athletics coach Emilio Lacanaria said the five-man track squad is keen to compete.

" They trained hard in Davao City and now they are ready to do battle against the other countries, " said Lacanaria. 

Montemayor has expressed gratitude to the local chief executive of the participating local government units saying " without which Mindanao-Philippines Team would not have been possible".

City government of Davao has sent its eight top class athletes to beef up Team Mindanao.

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