UAAP eyes full calendar of events for Season 83

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2020 02:07 PM

UAAP eyes full calendar of events for Season 83 1
Scenes from the UAAP Season 82 opening ceremony. File photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.

UAAP Season 82 opening ceremony. File photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA, Philippines -- The UAAP is determined to hold all events in Season 83, after the novel coronavirus pandemic forced them to cancel their second semester sports in April.

However, current government regulations and the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming academic year will necessitate changes in the league's schedule.

"We are planning to have a full calendar," said UAAP president Em Fernandez of Season 82 host Ateneo de Manila University, speaking on Tuesday at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

"But of course, that will be dependent on one, the government, and the schools themselves," he explained. "These are students, so normalcy in the schools will take precedence."

Universities are shifting to online classes as a way of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the UAAP is waiting on when schools will start the academic year before they can make concrete plans of their own.

As it stands, Fernandez believes that the earliest that the UAAP can start is in 2021.

"Based on what the government started… I think it was the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) who said that there would be no tournaments until the end of December 2020. So, we're basically looking at (the) first quarter of 2021," he said.

De La Salle University is the host of UAAP Season 83. Ateneo will turn over the hosting duties in a closing ceremony to be held at a later date.

As to the format of the competitions such as the basketball and volleyball tournaments, Fernandez said they intend to follow the regular format of a double-round robin elimination, followed by the final four and the finals.

There is a chance that the league may hold the tournaments concurrently, similar to multi-sports events such as the Southeast Asian Games.

"Well, first and foremost, 'di ba ang SEA Games, tinatapos nila ang lahat ng events in two weeks? So what's stopping UAAP from doing the same thing? That's for the events," said Fernandez.

"Kung si volleyball season, technically runs from February to May, what's stopping the UAAP (from) running the basketball side by side with the volleyball tournament. Nothing," he added. 

"It's a plan," Fernandez said. "The idea is to have the full calendar, if possible operationally."

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Philippine sports, forcing the NCAA and the UAAP to cancel their events while other leagues, including the PBA, have been in limbo since March. The NCAA has already announced that they will open their 96th season in early 2021, with only four mandatory sports -- volleyball, basketball, track and field, and swimming -- to be contested.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).