MANILA, Philippines - With renewed commitment to excellence in the sporting field, the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) enters its second decade today with a formal opening ceremony and a heavy four-game bill highlighted by the much-awaited rematch of last year’s title showdown between defending champion University of Manila and former titlist STI Colleges.
No less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Atty. Chito Salud are expected to personally grace the opening ceremony scheduled at 9 a.m. at the Makati Coliseum.
The two high-ranking basketball officials are expected to make the ceremonial toss, along with NAASCU president Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem of host St. Clare College-Caloocan and NAASCU senior adviser Atty. Ernesto de los Santos of UM.
“We’re excited to enter our second decade as the country’s biggest collegiate league. We encountered some problems in the past 10 years of the league but we have weathered the storm and ready to face the new decade with renewed enthusiasm,” said Adalem, also the treasurer of the SBP.
After the UM-STI showdown at 11 a.m., three other matches will follow on a busy opening-day schedule.
Other opening-day matches will pit City University of Pasay (formerly Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasay) against New Era University at 12:30 p.m., Centro Escolar University against Our Lady of Fatima University at 2 p.m. and AMA Computer University against Informatics at 3:30 p.m.
St. Clare College-Caloocan and new member Trace College draw opening-day byes.
St. Clare will make its debut against Fatima, while Trace will open against UM on Aug. 2.
Three other member-teams – University of Makati, San Sebastian Colege-Cavite and Lyceem of Subic Bay – took a leave this year.
Seniors, juniors and women’s basketball open the league’s calendar of events for the first semester.
But the second semester is expected to be a busy one as it offers competitions in volleyball, cheerdance, chess, table tennis, swimming, track and field, badminton and billiards.
“NAASCU takes pride of being the only college league which offers billiards as part of its calendar of sports,”said Adalem, whose team St. Clare College finished in the top four of the recent National Collegiate Billiards League (NCBL).
After Friday’s opening, the tournament resumes Monday at the UM gym with five more games – four in the junior division and one in the women’s category.
Junior matches will pit Trace against Fatima at 8 a.m., CEU against New Era at 9:30 a.m., St. Clare against STI at 11 a.m. and UM against AMA at 1:30 p.m.
The lone women’s match will pit UM against St. Clare at 3 p.m.