Games will immediately follow after the short opening rites at 8 a.m., which will be graced by Datu Tatsuo Uchida, president of the Datu Uchida Development Foundation (DUDF), Japanese Consul Hiroshi Mitsuya and Joaquin Sarabia, regional chief of the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA).
Led by defending champion Lt. C. Villafuerte Sr. Elementary School, 13 teams will slug it out for the elementary division crown while four squads will dispute for the high school class title with reigning titlist Crossing Bayabas National High School heading the cast.
Yuseke Uchida, DUDF sports coordinator, told sportswriters during the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) forum at the Ateneo de Davao University that the 17 competing teams come mostly from public schools.
The two-day tournament, hosted by DUDF in cooperation with Davao City Baseball Association (DCBA), will follow the knockout system format.
Despite the absence of last year's runner-up Baguio Agriculture High School, Crossing Bayabas is still facing stiff battle, this time from tough contenders PNJK, F. Bustamante National High and Calinan National High School.
Expected to provide formidable challenge to Villafuerte Elementary School are F. Bustamante Elementary School and PNJK, last year’s second and third placer, respectively, in the elementary division.
Cash prizes and brand new baseball equipment are up for grabs in the tournament sponsored by Tokyo Kichijoji Lions Club and Japan-Philippines Industry Council.
The elementary and high school champions will bring home P8,000 plus trophy while the next two finishers will get P4,000 and P2,000 with plaques.
Ynes Mallari, PNJK school administrator, said all participating teams will receive transportation subsidy in the amount of P2,000.
"They will also enjoy free lunch during the duration of the tournament," said Mallari.
The awarding ceremony and victory party will be held on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Apo View Hotel's Top of the Apo.
DUDF, with the help of its sponsors from Japan, also bankrolled the past two Davao City Baseball Cup that has drawn 32 little league baseball teams. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)