UAAP assures full support of national-team programs

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2022 07:16 AM

UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag. UAAP Media.
UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines – Communication and coordination will be key for the UAAP in its continued support of the national team programs, according to the league's executive director.

Atty. Rebo Saguisag has assured that the UAAP is determined to fulfill one of its "reasons for being," which is to support the national sports associations (NSAs) and the national teams. 

"Of course, we're all in support of the NSAs," Saguisag said during this week's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. 

They regularly keep in touch with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) in particular, said Saguisag. UAAP athletes have regularly represented the country in international competitions, including the Olympic Games.

At least three UAAP players are in the Gilas Pilipinas pool -- Ateneo's Ange Kouame, La Salle's Kevin Quiambao, and UP's Carl Tamayo. The PNVF also initially planned to tap collegiate players for the national team before doing an about-face and calling on professionals instead.

In the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, taekwondo champion Kurt Barbosa of the National University represented the Philippines.

"Suportado namin because at the end of the day, pag maganda ang training ng mga bata sa eskwelahan at maganda ang patakbo ng UAAP, eh 'di magaling din ang napo-produce namin na national players," said Saguisag.

While the league has no issues about lending its athletes to the national team cause, Saguisag said that they want their partnerships with NSAs to be as smooth as possible.

"Kami naman walang problemang magpahiram. Pero siyempre, give and take," said Saguisag. "Kasi kami, basta sabihin lang sa amin ang schedule way ahead, para naman the UAAP can also adjust."

"Because hindi rin ganoon kadali kumuha ng venue. Mamaya, maubusan kami ng venue, referee, 'di ba? It also takes careful planning on our part," he added. "So coordination lang. It has to be a two-way street."

There is also the issue of who will bear responsibility for a player who gets injured during national team duties, said the UAAP executive.

"We have to have an agreement also na 'pag nasa kanila ang mga bata, because this is also a concern on the part of the schools, 'pag na-injure, yes, sino ba ang [responsible] diyan?" Saguisag said. "If it's incurred during the national team event, dapat naman siguro sila rin naman ang sasagot."

"So those little things na napag-uusapan naman. So definitely, we're in support," he added.

Catch replays of UAAP Season 84 games via the UAAP Varsity channel on iWantTFC, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.