MANILA -- The UAAP on Wednesday formally named Xavier Nunag as the commissioner for its basketball tournaments for Season 86.
Nunag will be joined by Atty. Mariana Lopa, who has been named as the Deputy Commissioner for women's and girls’ basketball. A former player of the Ateneo women's basketball team, Lopa is the second woman to hold this position in the UAAP's history after Edith Boticario, who served as Deputy Commissioner in UAAP Season 82.
"I am grateful for the continued trust and support of the UAAP. We are committed to making UAAP Season 86 an unforgettable experience for fans, student-athletes, and all stakeholders," Nunag said in a statement.
"It's nice to be back home in the UAAP. When I was growing up, it was my dream to play in the UAAP. I never thought I'd return as a deputy commissioner. I'm very, very happy and excited," said Lopa, also the managing director of Girls Got Game.
On her role, Lopa said it is crucial to have someone to oversee the women's tournament and is banking on her experience as a former UAAP player as well as her deep ties into the women's basketball community.
"I understand the intricacies of the women's game, the women's tournament and the challenges that we face," she said.
For high school basketball, the UAAP welcomes Deputy Commissioner Marvin Bienvenida, a champion coach from the NCAA.
"My goal for the high school boys' tournaments this year is to propagate and reinforce the mission and vision of the commissioner's team throughout all senior competitions, while maintaining or even surpassing that standard in our UAAP participation," he said.
Rounding out the Commissioner's Office are Michael Villar, who joins as the Commissioner's Team Media Consultant, and Lance Mandalano, who serves as Admin Personnel.
The Commissioner's Team personally visited the eight UAAP member schools in the offseason, with the aim of engaging in discussions about new rules and regulations for UAAP Season 86 and establish strong relationships with coaches and student-athletes.