NCAA honors hoops legends in opening ceremonies

by Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Jun 28 2014 02:38 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2014 02:06 AM

Photo by Camille B. Naredo,

MANILA -- The NCAA on Saturday paid tribute to basketball legends produced by Philippine basketball leagues, in the opening ceremony of its 90th season at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, which also featured an excellent show from students of all 10 participating schools.

In a tribute video, the league honored some of its finest basketball players who played not only for school but also for country, including legends like Caloy Loyzaga, Lim Eng Beng, Freddie Webb, and Alvin Patrimonio.

Letran's Samboy Lim, Mapua's Atoy Co, and host school Jose Rizal University's (JRU) Vergel Meneses and Philip Cezar all spoke briefly, impressing upon the students the importance of hard work and advising them to keep following their dreams.

The highlight of the opening ceremony was a remarkable dance presentation by students from the NCAA schools, clad in costumes inspired by their team names.

The loudest cheers came when a student from JRU, in costume as a "Heavy Bomber," was lifted into the air.

Prior to the opening ceremony was the parade of athletes, with the basketball teams representing their schools. Kyle Pascual of the San Beda Red Lions led the oath of sportsmanship.

The NCAA Season 90 men's basketball tournament formally opens with the hosts JRU Heavy Bombers taking on the four-time defending champions San Beda Red Lions, to be followed by the game between San Sebastian and Letran.