MANILA, Philippines – Former PBA player and Ateneo standout Olsen Racela will carry the torch during the opening ceremonies of the 74th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
The opening ceremonies of UAAP Season 74 will be a break from tradition, as it will be held in the Marikina Sports Complex instead of the usual Araneta Coliseum.
Season 74 hosts Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) is planning an Olympic-style opening, said Ateneo athletics director Ricky Palou.
The opening will involve all athletes from all UAAP sports.
"We wanted all the athletes to feel that they're part of the UAAP," Palou said, citing that in previous seasons, the opening ceremonies were focused on basketball.
Palou said that the torch was passed from school to school.
The torch run started with last season's host, De La Salle University (DLSU) and will end in AdMU.
Racela will then carry the torch during the opening ceremonies at the Marikina Sports Complex.
"Athletes will then march into the stadium, school by school," Palou said.
Students from all UAAP schools are invited to the opening. Entrance is free.
There will also be performances from the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion and Sponge Cola's Yael Yuzon.
Palou said that the schedule of the UAAP games were changed to accommodate the students.
UAAP seniors basketball is now scheduled at 1 p.m. for the first game and 3 p.m. for the second game.
"It's better because the students can go home earlier," Palou said.
Meanwhile, the UAAP eligibility committee is set to meet on June 28.
“They will go through the rosters of all the schools,” Palou said. He added that all decisions regarding eligibility issues will be based on documents submitted by the UAAP schools.
The UAAP teams have to submit their rosters along with all pertinent documents by June 24.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. of the National University (NU) and Greg Slaughter of AdMU are two of the athletes with eligibility concerns.
According to Palou, there are questions about Slaughter's eligibility because he played for the national team while serving his residency.
But he feels that the complaint is invalid.
“How do you stop somebody from playing for the national team?” Palou said.