Cebu City Gears Up to Showcase Hosting Abilities with Pre-Qualifying Cluster Meet for Palarong Pambansa

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Cebu City, renowned for its vibrant sports culture, is set to test its capacity to host the prestigious Palarong Pambansa next year. The city will serve as the venue for the Palarong Pambansa’s inaugural Pre-Qualifying Cluster Meet, scheduled to take place on June 14, 2023, across various locations in Cebu City and Mandaue City.

Over 1,300 athletes from four different regions are expected to showcase their skills during this three-day multi-sporting event. As preparations intensify, John Pages, the chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC), has been working in collaboration with the Department of Education Region 7 (DepEd-7) and the Cebu City office to ensure the success of the upcoming clustering meet. The competition serves as a newly established qualifying tournament for the Palarong Pambansa, which is scheduled for July in Marikina City.

In an interview with CDN Digital, Pages revealed that more than 1,300 athletes would be participating in eight team sports, with only the top two regions securing qualification for the Palarong Pambansa in Marikina. Pages emphasized that this event would not only serve as an opportunity to gauge Cebu City’s ability to host the Palarong Pambansa but also attract the attention of the Palarong Pambansa secretariat, who will be present to observe the proceedings.

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Following the conclusion of the games, the Palaro technical committee, in charge of evaluating the venues, will conduct inspections from June 18 to 20 as part of the Palarong Pambansa bid process. The formal bid was submitted to the DepEd central office in Manila on May 26. The technical inspection team, composed of officials from DepEd and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), will meticulously assess the venues and accommodation quarters. These assessments will play a crucial role in determining Cebu City’s bid to host the Palarong Pambansa.

The clustering meet will feature eight sports events spread across the three-day competition. These include volleyball, softball, basketball, sepak takraw, futsal, baseball, and football. Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) in Mandaue City has been designated as the host for basketball, sepak takraw, and futsal. The baseball competition will take place at the University of San Carlos (USC), while Labangon Elementary School will host the softball elementary division. Don Bosco Technical College (DBTC) will serve as the venue for the football matches.

Pages emphasized that this qualifying tournament is a novel approach introduced by the Palarong Pambansa organizers to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic. Its primary objective is to reduce the total number of participants in the main Palarong Pambansa. Only the top two teams per cluster will proceed to Marikina, ensuring a more streamlined and competitive event.

Preparations for the clustering meet have been underway for an extended period, and a final coordination meeting with DepEd-7 was held last Wednesday. Athletes from Iloilo were the first to arrive and will be accommodated in a public school within Cebu City, as will athletes from other participating regions.

As Cebu City embraces this opportunity to demonstrate its sporting prowess, all eyes are on the upcoming Pre-Qualifying Cluster Meet, which is poised to be a remarkable event celebrating the spirit of competition and camaraderie among young athletes from across the region.

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