MANILA, Philippines -- NCAA commissioner Arturo "Bai" Cristobal on Sunday promised to be fair to all participating teams when the Season 90 of the basketball tournament unfolds on June 28 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
"I cannot promise perfect officiating. The only thing I can promise is fair play," said Cristobal during the league kickoff hosted by season host Jose Rizal at its Mandaluyong campus over the weekend.
Cristobal, who will make his debut as commissioner after working in the technical committee during the times of former commissioners Aric del Rosario and Joe Lipa, said he will need the support of everyone to ensure a successful, trouble-free season.
"I want to ask your cooperation and understanding and let us work together as one with the organizers," he said.
Cristobal said they have plans to align the rules with FIBA or international basketball federation rules.
"There will be no changes in the rules. If there will be, we will try to align them all with FIBA," said Cristobal.
Five-peat-seeking San Beda will open the season as it tackles vastly improved Jose Rizal U at 1 p.m. while last year's second placer Letran clashes with San Sebastian in the other game at 3 p.m.
A 12 noon opening ceremony to be aired live on TV5 and AksyonTV Channel 41 will usher in Season 90 with performance to remember centered on this year's theme--"We Make History: Today's Heroes, Tomorrow's Legend."
This year, the NCAA will focus not just on San Beda eyeing a league-high five-straight championships but also on Lyceum and Emilio Aguinaldo College seeking regular membership.
Lyceum is playing its second probationary year while EAC is on its fifth and their performances this season not just in basketball but all the other sporting events will serve as basis if the two will be accepted as regular members.
Lyceum and EAC hope to follow the footsteps of Arellano U, which was handed regular membership early this year after its exceptional efforts in many disciplines and meeting all the requirements set the league.
The other league mainstays are Jose Rizal, San Beda, San Sebastian, Letran, Mapua, St. Benilde and Perpetual Help.