UAAP men's basketball team coaches during the Season 81 press launch at the Mall of Asia Arena Monday afternoon. Toledo IV
UAAP hoops set for Season 81
Denison Rey A. Dalupang ( - September 3, 2018 - 4:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — It’s all systems go for the University Athletics Association of the Philippines’ new season, which comes off wraps this weekend.

The league marked the opening of 81st season with the basketball teams taking centerstage during the press launch Monday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Basking on the limelight is Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin, who steered the Blue Eagles to a championship last year after settling for a bridesmaid a season before.

“We don’t worry about what other people say. We’re just worried about playing good basketball and trying to live up to our potential. And our potential is significant now,”  he said, when asked about the expectations hovering his squad.

Joining Baldwin under the glimmer of spotlight were newcomers Joe Silva of University of the East and Louie Gonzales of the De La Salle University.  

“Rest assured we will display that Warrior mentaility, day in and day out,” said Silva, who is climbing a ladder after commandeering the Blue Eagles to two Juniros titles.

Gonzales, for his part, almost said the same thing: “We’ll have that same ‘Animo Spirit.’” The former Green Archers deputy will now take over at the helm. 

Also in attendance were Don Allado, who was sitting in for Franz Pumaren of Adamson University, and the grizzled mentors who are reprising their roles for their crews: Olsen Racela of Far Eastern University,  Jamike Jarin of National University and Bo Perasol of University of the Philippines.

Aldin Ayo, who had arguably an eventful past two season with the Green Archers, was unable to join the event. He was represented by his assistant Nap Garcia.

The festivities formally kick off this Saturday, September 7, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Basketball skirimishes commence immediately as the Fighting Marrons lock horns with the Red Warriors. Hosts Bulldogs clash with the Growling Tigers in the nightcap.

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