IF NORTHERN Mindanao can only improve its performance in the centerpiece events, finishing on the top-5 in the April 11-17 Palarong Pambansa in Tarlac City is not a remote possibility.

NMRAA team manager Raymund S. Antolo revealed in his recent meeting with the coaches, trainers and officials that the medal-rich swimming and athletics events were hardly a boon to the region’s campaign last year in Tacloban Palaro.

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It was in stark contrast to NMRAA’s fruitful stint in Marvel, Cotabato some three years ago wherein Bukidnon and Tangub athletes took centerstage in the track and field rivalries.

Nonetheless, Antolo said the NMRAA (Northern Mindanao Regional Athletic Association) team can surpass its overall 7th-place finish in Tacloban, depending on how the athletes and coaches take their time in the ongoing “35-day intensive training program” here at the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports Center.

“Not just in swimming and athletics. We should improve to at least two ranks higher in all of the sporting events that will be disputed in the national students meet. Everyone else should contribute in the team points for us to reach our goal,” Antolo said.

The 600-member strong NMRAA delegates have the MOGCHS and City Central School buildings as their quarters for their training preparation.

Antolo said the team is set to leave here on March 31 for the week-long meet, featuring the country’s top elementary and secondary athletes.

“Sayo lang kita mogikan dinhe aron dili kita ma-apikhan sa final screening nga himoon for the athletes’ eligibility papers and documents,” Antolo further, said.

article by Lynde Salgados of Sun Star CDO

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