by Kristel Satumbaga
The last qualifier of the 2019 Batang Pinoy Championships unwraps today in the City of Ilagan, Isabela with more than 5,000 student-athletes and out-of-school youth from 119 local government units in Luzon vying for supremacy.
Like the previous two legs, week-long multisport event is aimed at discovering local talents from the grassroots level.
Philippine Sports commissioner Ramon Fernandez will do the welcome remarks in lieu of chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who skipped the event in the last minute due to a more pressing matter back in Manila, and will be joined by fellow commissioners Charles Maxey and Celia Kiram, host Ilagan City Mayor Evelyn Diaz and Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy III.
“We saw some athletes with potentials in the Mindanao and Visayas legs and we hope to discover more here in Luzon,” said Fernandez.
Winners in this leg will join Visayas and Mindanao qualifiers in the National Finals slated in September either in Tagbilaran, Bohol or Ormoc, Leyte.
The first two legs were held in Tagum, Davao del Norte and Iloilo City last month.
Twenty sports will be competed in 17 playing venues with participants from powerhouse National Capital Region expected to dominate the event.
A total of 1,260 medals will be up for grabs with the bulk coming from centerpiece athletics and swimming.
Swimming hostilities start tomorrow while athletics will be held on Wednesday at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex.
Other sports include archery, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, dancesport, futsal, karatedo, tennis, pencak silat, sepak takraw, softball, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball and beach volleyball.
“We are expecting a big turnout compared to the Visayas and Mindanao legs but the PSC along with the City of Ilagan and Isabela province are ready and prepared for everything,” said Batang Pinoy project director Atty. Guillermo Iroy.