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Sports

UAAP Season 82 unwraps Sunday

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
UAAP Season 82 unwraps Sunday
Ateneo mainstays led by Thirdy Ravena hand over the team’s jersey to Firefly marketing director Erik Riola to symbolize partnership for the team’s campaign in the UAAP Season 82 which opens Sunday. Also in attendance in the memorandum of agreement (MOA)-signing were FELCO assistant brand manager Christine Reyes, Ateneo assistant to the president for university athletics Fr. Nemesio Que and university athletics director Emmanuel Fernandez.

MANILA, Philippines — It’s all systems go for the 82nd University Athletic Association of the Philippines that unwraps in elaborate rites Sunday at the MOA Arena.

But unlike in the past seasons, the league is veering away from a basketball-centric kickoff in an effort to present all athletes from all sports in a grandiose fashion. It’s like Season 74 also hosted by Ateneo.

“Being the host, the different thing we’re doing this year is the opening ceremony being done separately. There will be no basketball games on that day. It’s an opening ceremony for all the athletes from all the sports,” said ADMU athletics director Emmanuel Fernandez. “It will be very festive that you can call it One Big Pep Rally to send off all the athletes of the UAAP, not only basketball.”

Men’s basketball gets going on Sept. 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum featuring an explosive triple-bill bannered by the Blue Eagles-Adamson Falcons tiff at 4 p.m.

Holding Wednesday triple-headers is also one approach taken by the league in a bid to fast-track the tournament and adjust to the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games slated Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

Given all the do-or-die matches and rubber-matches in the playoffs, Fernandez expects the men’s basketball tourney to end on Nov. 23.

Aside from helping the country resolve possible schedule conflict, this is also a step of the UAAP to support its athletes who will be competing in the region’s biennial event. 

Meanwhile, Ateneo entered into an agreement with Firefly LED to help boost the campaigns of the Blue Eagles, the Eaglets and the Lady Eagles in the coming UAAP wars.

Major part of the partnership is the lighting renovation of the historic Blue Eagle Gym which is coincidentally celebrating its 70th year.

“It’s the first structure in Ateneo campus and we’re now celebrating its 70th year. With Firefly, this is not only a sponsorship or just having a logo in the uniform. This is a partnership,” said Fernandez.

UAAP SEASON 82

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