The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is officially underway and we all know how big of a deal this is especially for hoop fans in the country. The most prestigious collegiate league in the country conducted a press conference last Monday, September 3, and here are 8 insights we got from the presscon:
The UAAP is set to follow new rules
For basketball at least, the UAAP board confirmed that the tournament will officially follow the rules and regulations of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The board also announced that there will be new set of referees solely only for the UAAP and have made a new rule on how many drums are allowed for the schools’ pep squad..
Who can beat Ateneo?
The mighty Eagles will be going into the season with a huge bullseye on their backs. While a few teams like the University of the Philippines and National University have upgraded their roster, the odds are still in the Eagles’ favor to win the championship.
The rising stars
Fresh faces like Will Gozum of UP, Taane Samuel of DLSU, CJ Cansino of UST, JL Clemente and Troy Rike of NU are only some of the many who have the potential to make an impact for their teams. These are the players who we have to keep an eye on this coming season and probably the future of the league.
Coach Aldin Ayo’s new team
Assistant Coach Bonnie Garcia, who represented head Coach Aldin Ayo at the presscon mentioned that the Tigers will no longer call their offence “mayhem” but “Hail Mary” instead. Watching the former De La Salle University Coach lead the tigers this season will be interesting to watch as he aims to bring last year’s last seed team back to the final four.
Breaking the DLSU versus ADMU Finals streak
Now that more teams are gearing up their roster and are coming out with more potential, will the DLSU versus ADMU finals streak finally end? Similar to the NBA’s Warriors versus Cavs finals rivalry, a lot want to see a change and at this point, there’s a high chance of that to happen.
New sports to be added in the UAAP
The UAAP board announced that sports like Ballroom dancing and Arnis are officially going to be considered as part of the tournament. This is great news for ballroom dancers and fans, and of course for both growing sports in the country.
Thirdy Ravena, Aljun Melecio, Renzo Subido, Hubert Cani, Bright Akhuetie and a lot of these veterans are going to give it all they got to make their last year or if not years as memorable as they can for them and their teams. The veterans are the ones who these teams rely on and it’s going to be interesting how the tournament is going to go down with their leadership and skills on and off the court.
Will there be a new final four?
While a lot have mentioned that Ateneo’s the team to beat, every team’s goal is to at least make it to the final four before anything else. The past has shown that ADMU, DLSU, NU, and FEU always garner a spot in the final four ladder, but will that change this year? It’s going to look like an intense matchup down the road not only for the fourth spot but as well as for the rankings.
“I know all teams have been working hard. We’ve had camps, tours, opportunities to play outside, opportunities to play one another in FILOIL and Summer leagues but everything is geared towards Saturday (UAAP Opening) for us Sunday and we are looking forward to it.” mentioned Ateneo’s head Coach, Tab Baldwin, who spoke in behalf of his team who will be defending the championship this season.
Who are you rooting for this season? Let us know!