GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The Soccsksargen Regional Athletic Association (SRAA) aims to start and finish strong in the 2019 Palarong Pambansa that is set to begin in Davao City on Saturday.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, Department of Education (DepEd) 12 (Soccsksargen) director, said Friday the region's athletes are ready to compete and challenge top powerhouses in the country for the gold medals in various individual and team events.

Farnazo said the region's 750-strong delegation underwent a 35-day intensive training at the Calumpang National High School here in preparation for the Palaro.

Also known as the Soccksargen Warrriors, he said the team has already settled at the Crossing Bayabas National High School in Toril, Davao City.

"We will compete in almost all sporting events, including the Paralympics," said Farnazo, who heads the SRAA delegation.

Magdaleno Duhilag, DepEd-12 sports supervisor, said they are hoping to bounce back from the region's seventh-place finish in last year's Palaro in Ilocos Sur, with a medal haul of 21 golds, 26 silvers, and 32 bronzes.

The total tally was way short of SRAA's target of 35 gold medals, which followed its strong showing in the 2017 games in Antique.

The region brought home 26 golds, 22 silvers, and 35 bronze medals to finish fifth in the overall standings.

Duhilag said this year's delegation, which is bannered by this city as regional champion, will be competitive in all events.
He said they are hoping to continue their strong performance this year in arnis, taekwondo swimming, and billiards. (PNA)