Commercially branded for tourism as "Asia's Latin City", the local government of Zamboanga under Mayor Celso Lobregat and Western Mindanao PRISAA hosted the national games for tertiary private schools for the third time following its first hosting in 1993, and again in 2004.
"The hosting was given to Zamboanga after no other cities or province expressed interest to bid and since they are interested to host the games," said Joaquin Sarabia, Davao Region PRISAA athletic manager.
Sarabia, also the sports director of the University of Mindanao, said many have wanted the PRISAA national games to be held here in Davao but "we don’t have a sports complex".
"Almost all the regional presidents wants the national games to be held here," said Sarabia.
Games on tap in the PRISAA games include baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, softball, football, taekwondo, sepak takraw and track and field.
Some 5,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 17 regions across the country are expected to attend the annual sports event.
On the other hand, preparations are now underway for the advance games of basketball and volleyball in the Davao City PRISAA Meet Jan. 26 and27.
These games, Sarabia said, will be held every Saturday and Sunday until Feb. 9 and 10, a weekend before the opening ceremonies slated Feb. 22.
Twelve of the 13 participating member schools are entered in the men's basketball led by defending champs University of Mindanao Wildcats. Half of this number will vie for title in the women's basketball.
In volleyball, 11 teams will see action in the men's class and eight in the distaff side led by reigning titlist Holy Cross of Davao College volleybelles. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)