MANILA, Philippines - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) South kicked off its 14th season yesterday with host Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas welcoming 10 other member schools in elaborate rites at its sprawling Lyceum International Maritime Academy grounds in Batangas City.
LPU Batangas, considered one of the premier education hubs in Southern Luzon, has picked “Taking the Lead through Sports Excellence” as the theme for its second hosting of the country’s biggest league outside of the NCAA and the UAAP.
“We take great pride, honor and pleasure in hosting the NCAA South for the second time,” said LPU Batangas president Peter Laurel. “And it could not be more timely as our school celebrates our 46th founding anniversary.”
“We hope that we can match the success of our predecessor, San Beda College Alabang, and even surpass our previous hosting of the league,” added Laurel, son of the school’s late founder, former lawmaker-educator Sotero Laurel, and grandson of President Jose Laurel.
Also present during opening rites were athletes and officials of the other NCAA South member schools, namely: San Beda College-Alabang, Don Bosco College Technical College-Mandaluyong, Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba, First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities -Tanauan, Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas, San Pablo Colleges, University of Perpetual Help System-Laguna, University of Batangas and Saint Francis College of Assisi-Las Piñas City.
“We would like to welcome everyone to the opening of the 14th NCAA South,” said LPU Batangas vice president for Institutional Affairs and NCAA South Management Committee chairperson Fe Medina. “We are privileged to be this year’s host even as it coincides with our 46th anniversary celebration.”
“We look forward to seeing our athletes truly take the lead in excelling in their various sports, all in the spirit of fair play, friendship and camaraderie,” Medina said.
Gracing the occasion were Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and Batangas City Mayor Vilma Abaya-Dimacuha who delivered their messages to the Lyceum community and the NCAA-South family.
Following the opening rites, highlighted by the lighting of the 14th NCAA South Games flame, was the start of the basketball tournament in senior matches featuring the UB Brahmans versus San Beda Alabang Red Lions and the Lyceum-Batangas Pirates against the De La Salle-Lipa Green Chevrons.
Also scheduled during the first semester are volleyball, chess and table tennis while the second semester schedule will have badminton, football, taekwondo, beach volleyball and swimming in the league.