State-of-the-art MOA Arena to host next UAAP season

by Joey Villar, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 18 2011 09:48 AM | Updated as of Aug 18 2011 09:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The soon-to-be-completed state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City will be next year's home of the country's premier varsity leagues.

National University, which will host the 75th UAAP next season, announced yesterday the MOA Arena will host not just the league opening but also majority of the elimination round games.

The Final Four and best-of-three championship will also be held at the brand-new venue.

"We want students and schools to take part in the action. We don' want to limit the excitement to the players," said NU athletics director Junel Baculi in a press conference at the SMX Convention Center of the SM Mall of Asia.

The MOA Arena, a 20,000-seater venue with a big parking space, is already 85-percent completed. It will be officially opened in May next year.

It will also host the NCAA starting next season.

Baculi said NU, now owned by the Sy family of SM Supermalls, actually gave up this year's UAAP hosting to Ateneo to get the chance to host it next year at the MOA Arena, reportedly patterned after the Atlanta Hawks' Philips Arena.

"We wanted to hold off our hosting to 2012 to ensure that we are well prepared. The opening ceremonies will be fantastic," said Nilo Ocampo, the NU director of purchasing and alumni affairs current UAAP vice president.