"Both teams get ready in two minutes!" The referee declared between the two teams which are also known as Regu. as Chiko, Gantes, and Yang walked inside the court, their opposing team also strode in with their head held high and blazing confidence!
"These newbies are getting roasted today!"
"They are going to face Sawsaw's team for their first match!? Guess their luck has finally run out haha!"
"Sawsaw, their regu's Tekong is teamed up with Daryn as the feeder and Miko as the striker! I heard these guys have played in Regional meets already!"
"I heard they are required to reach the first place in overall matches to get a spot as a punishment for getting late."
"That janitor and balut vendor were only lucky last time. Considering they are about to Sawsaw's team, they are guaranteed to lose!"
In order to reach the Regional level, one team must first start from the school or amateur competitions to be drafted for local or barangay level. From barangay level, the team gets an opportunity to represent for the municipal meet where they get to face the best players from multiple municipalities with talents pulled out from the best of each and every barangay.
From the municipal level, the team gets another strike to represent in provincial level which the Philippines has eighty-one provinces from seventeen different regions.
The provincial level games are held annually and are officially called "Palarong Pambansa" in Filipino or National Games in English. Players attending these games are actually the best of their respective regions.
In this case, the place they are competing belonged to the Central Visayas province which is composed of more than a thousand barangays and a few surrounding cities.
To sum the level of game stages, students are usually scouted from public or private schools through intramurals activity, especially from high school where the students are very active. It is comparable to the barangay level.
From barangay level to municipal meet. From Municipal level to Provincial meet. And from provincial meet to Regional level, and lastly, the national games also known in the Philippines as "Palarong Pambansa".
As for the international games where the best players of each country fights, that is called the King's Cup which is Chiko's real target. As of these moments, he still has a long way to go.
The referee gave each team with the sepak takraw ball which is made in plastic. It was the same kind of plastic balls that Chiko and Yang broke with their intense match last time.
"Five minutes warm up!" The referee shouted and he immediately timed in his stopwatch. Gantes looked curiously at the crowd and a lot of them have mocking expressions while others have shaken their heads in pity of them.
Chiko gleamed with excitement not minding the sneering people behind him while Yang has the same expression as before he took out a red scarf and tied it to his head covering his hair. His looks and aura immediately became sharp and dominating that caused every sneering people to take him seriously.
Their unusual team is composed of an innocently excited one, a dumb looking dopehead, and a serious looking school-janitor. Their opponent, on the other hand, are players with experience playing in Regional meets which is quite already a lot of stages further ahead of Chiko's team.
This match can be considered as a battle of pros and newbies and the outcome has obviously been long decided according to everybody.
In the middle of the loud mocking and commotion in the court, Yang noticed that Santi through his peripheral vision that the latter went to the registration table and started talking to Mr. Gila who is responsible for the student tryout registration.
"Is he going to do the tryout too?" This has brought a huge surprise to Yang.
Suddenly, Santi looked forward to his direction and slowly raising his hand gestured towards him a thumbs down and a wide grin. Santi's lips moved without releasing a sound and Yang's eye translated every word he said.
"Your team is going down." Yang understood Santi's message.