Freeman Cebu Sports

A better, more exciting SHAABAA Season 27 ahead

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  With some significant changes adding flavor to the tournament and innovations adopting to digital era, the 27th season of the Sacred Heart Ateneo Alumni Basketball Athletic Association (SHAABAA) promises to be better and more exciting at its kicks off on June 2 at the Magis Eagles Arena of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) in Barangay Canduman, Mandaue City.

As announced by league president Lloyd Jeffrey Lua Atillo during their “Media Day” at FIRST 5 Sports Lounge & Cafe in Bonifacio District, Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City last Saturday, May 25, SHAABAA will boost its mobile application especially that it serves as their official alumni ID.

First launched during their Silver season in 2022, the SHAABAA mobile app has truly strengthened the ties among members of the alumni community.

On the other hand, Division A is now a barangayan format competition for 40 years old and above players instead of the usual competing batches.

“Why we changed the format is because we want to encourage batches in Division A to merge and form a team, especially alumni members who want to continue playing in the league. You may not be able to play with your batchmates anymore, but at the end of the day you can still play basketball with fellow alumni members,” said Atillo.

Furthermore, Atillo said they will be holding an in-season inter-alumni tournament for the first time. Set for July, it features two SHAABAA teams against alumni-based ballclubs from Don Bosco Technical College (DBTC) and University of San Carlos (USC).

“We have to handpick for now the teams participating in the in-season tournament as what the board of directors and officials have agreed since it’s a pilot tournament. We want to expand this in the future,” said Atillo.

For the upcoming season, the league will welcome two new batches - 2023 and 2024.

“They really want to join the alumni and at the same time, it paves the way for them to connect with the rest of our alumni community. It bridges the old and the new alumni members,” Atillo continued.

In all, a total of 20 teams will be seeing action in the three-month tilt, five in Division A, seven in Division B, and eight in Division C.

Only the Nest Workspaces Batch 2013 though is back to defend its throne in Division C as Division A champion ARQ Builders Batch 2001 and Division B crown-holder Cebu Landmasters Batch 2003 have both decided to forgo their participation in the league this year.

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