By: Malaya

THE Batang Pinoy National Games will now be held from Nov. 19 to 26 at the Panaad Sports Complex in Bacolod City, according to Philippine Sports Commission Richie Garcia.

“Because of the recent conflict in Zamboanga City, the PSC has decided to hold the Batang Pinoy nationals in Bacolod City,” Garcia said of the age group meet originally scheduled to be held in Zamboanga City until it was besieged by a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front.

“Both Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Maranon and Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella offered the Panaad as an alternative and we graciously accepted their joint offer,” Garcia added.

“We’ll dedicate the Batang Pinoy to our brothers and sisters in Zamboanga,” said Puentevella, a former Philippine Olympic Committee chairman and current weightlifting association president. “This is a great opportunity. We are ready to roll.”

Negros Occidental and it capital of Bacolod City is no stranger to staging big sports events, having been the one of the hubs of 2005 Philippine Southeast Asian Games.

The Panaad Sports Complex served as the venue of the 1998 Centennial Palaro and also hosted the revived POC-PSC Philippine National Games two years ago.

Since Bacolod is one of the country’s football hotbeds, the Panaad Stadium is a popular venue often packed to the rafters whenever a major tournament is held there.