MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle University has formally accepted the hosting duties for the 83rd season of the UAAP, wherein it will face the same challenges that befell its predecessor, the Ateneo de Manila University.
As the country braces for the "new normal" in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus pandemic, La Salle takes on the responsibility of starting a new UAAP season, revealing that the motto for Season 83 is: "Fully Alive, Champions for Life."
The announcement came during the UAAP Season 82 Closing Ceremony on Saturday, which was conducted virtually because of the pandemic, and broadcast via the online platforms of ABS-CBN Sports.
A formal turnover was conducted between the two schools, with ADMU President Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ virtually handing the league flag to his La Salle counterpart, Bro. Raymundo Suplido, FSC.
"As we close Season 82, we are grateful to all those who gave their all to make Season 82 possible. And it is with honor that we turn over the hosting of UAAP Season 83 to De La Salle University," said Villarin, who served as the season's chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Upon receiving the flag and displaying it, Suplido said: "We are embarking on Season 83 with the motto -- Fully Alive, Champions for Life. This is De La Salle University welcoming you to Season 83."
Suplido acknowledged that La Salle is faced with an unprecedented task, as the country continues to grapple with the health crisis.
COVID-19 has had a major impact on all sports, forcing a premature end to the UAAP and halting on-going competitions including the PBA and the MPBL. It was only on July 3 that professional football and basketball teams received the go-signal from the government to resume practices.
Suplido stressed that they are treating the safety of the UAAP community with utmost importance even as they begin preparations for Season 83.
"For the love of sports, we have to challenge ourselves to continue to excel. It is important that we do so with resilience and fortitude," he said.
"Also, we must plan and play but with safety and prudence in our minds so that we do not risk the health and safety of our members," he added.
Seven collegiate events -- indoor volleyball, football, baseball, softball, athletics, lawn tennis, and 3x3 basketball -- were not finished due to the pandemic.
Season 83 is expected to start in the first quarter of 2021.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).