Visayas delegation head and Ricky Ballesteros said he isn’t buying news that defending champion National Capital Region (NCR) is fielding its second team for the 5th National Milo Little Olympics.
The games in this two-day national meet officially begin today at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) and Ballesteros and his wards are well aware that NCR is playing mind games in its bid to defend its crown here in Cebu.
“It’s plain psy-war,” Ballesteros said.
Ballesteros, who was credited for the simple yet spectacular opening ceremony yesterday, said he talked to some coaches of the NCR team and found out that most of the team’s top athletes are actually seeing action in this multi-sporting event. Those are NCR’s athletes who have qualified for the prestigious Palarong Pambansa next year.
“I’ve found out that majority of the swimmers and track stars of NCR are gold medalists of Palarong Pambansa,” Ballesteros said.
NCR delegation head Dr. Robert Calo said earlier that only the second-stringers will be participating in this meet.
“Maybe some teams are second stringers but majority are Palarong Pambansa qualifiers,” Ballesteros added.
Team NCR will be fielding the largest delegation with 403 athletes. Visayas comes in at second with 388, followed by Luzon with 387 and Mindanao with 379.
Yesterday’s opening salvo veered away from its supposed pyro-musical kickoff.
Still, everyone present at the CCSC seemed to enjoy the colorful and jaw-dropping performances of the 500 dancers and performers from 12 different dance troupes and companies congregating to celebrate Milo’s 50 years in the business.
Even Nestle Philippines CEO and president John Miller was so impressed that he gave the performers a standing ovation. He also congratulated Ballesteros for the wonderful opening ceremony, highlighted by a unique lighting of the Olympic urn.
Three of Cebu’s football legends who are former members of Philippine football team composed of DBTC head coach Glen Ramos, Queen City United head coach Mario Ceniza and Warshockz FC head coach Alex Ballesteros teamed up in the lighting of the Olympic urn. The three of them passed the ball all the way to DBTC elementary football team captain Antonio Alforque Jr., who was waiting at the top of a podium. When the ball reached him, he kicked the ball to the urn which lit up with the help of some special effects.
Also performing yesterday were Cebu Youth Music Festival champ Danielle May Ozaraga and the University of Cebu (UC) Chorus.
The entire team Visayas delegation wore shirts imprinted with “Bangon Visayas Signal No. 4 and Move On Visayas Magnitude 7.2” to show their respect for those affected by the Oct.15 earthquake and Nov. 8 supertyphoon that hit the region.