UAAP set to open venue to fans starting Tuesday

Ateneo’s Ange Kouame tries to shake off his fellow big man Lenda Douanga of Adamson University.

THE University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) will open its gates starting on Tuesday to students and fans for the ongoing Season 84 men’s basketball tournament, the BusinessMirror learned on Thursday.

The BusinessMirror gathered from at least three UAAP board members that the league will start accommodating fans at the Mall of Asia Arena next week. None of them, however, agreed to be named in deference to season host De La Salle.

De La Salle officials were mum and referred the matter to UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag. He didn’t reply to messages before Thursday’s print deadline.

The MOA Arena sits 14,000 but the league, as well as its broadcast partner Cignal/TV5, will start with a limited number of fully vaccinated fans.

Tickets for Patron seats, however, will not be offered and instead, students and fans will be given access only for the Lower and Upper Box sections.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera III said the league doesn’t anymore need to seek the CHED’s permission to open the games to fans and students.

“There’s no need to ask permission because there are guidelines [for sports activities] in place,” De Vera told BusinessMirror from Canada where he’s on official travel for the recognition of degrees of Filipino nurses there. “I’m not surprised that the opening of sports competitions is going well and that’s because the drafting of the guidelines was a collaborative effort.”

De Vera said he’ll be back Tuesday and will be watching the games “to congratulate them  [leagues] for their good work opening up sports competitions.”

Sienna Olaso, Cignal’s First Vice President and Head of Channel and Content, confirmed that the league is opening the games to fans and students.

“Yes, it’s April 5,” Olaso told BusinessMirror. It makes the game more exciting, and there’s a sign of normalcy and it’s great for the league.”

Two professional leagues—Philippine Basketball Association and Premiere Volleyball League—are admitting fans almost at full capacity at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan, respectively.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), on the other hand, will “soon” allow fans and students to watch their teams play in Season 97.

NCAA Management Committee (Mancom) Chairman Dax Castellano of season host College of Saint Benilde told to BusinessMirror that the league will also shift to a bigger venue from the La Salle Greenhills Gym in San Juan.

“We are now exploring a bigger venue to accommodate the fans,” Castellano said. “But our ultimate priority, as we [Mancom] agreed upon is still the safety of the students.”

“We cannot be complacent of allowing the fans in, we just have to take it slowly but surely,” Castellano said. “One wrong move, our league could be shut down. That’s why we are very careful of our decisions.”

“In fact, we allow each school to bring at only 10 guests to the venue,” he added.

The UAAP and NCAA opened simultaneously last March 26 after being shuttered like all of sports in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both leagues though aren’t playing a full program of sports in their return.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

UFC 275 goes to Singapore in June

Next Article

Cebu Pacific expands partnership with AXA

Related Posts

Read more

It’s Malixi at the end of the day

RIANNE MALIXI put up a flawless closeout and pounced on Daniella Uy’s flawed finish as the country’s top amateur nailed another pro victory in the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Iloilo Golf Challenge presented by MORE Power with a solid 66 to beat Chihiro Ikeda by four strokes on Friday.

Read more

Zaragosa books record 63, pulls away by 8 shots

RUPERT ZARAGOSA shook off a couple of frontside putting woes with a blistering backside charge for a new course-record seven-under 63 to all but leave behind a stunned field with a whopping eight-stroke lead and wrap up a first championship in the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Iloilo Golf Challenge presented by MORE Power on Friday.

Cebu vs Mendiola in Carmona turf

DYNAMIC Herb Cebu FC looks to close the gap on leader Kaya FC-Iloilo when it faces Mendiola FC on Saturday in the lone match of the Philippines Football League (PFL) brought to you by Qatar Airways at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

Read more

C-Stan plays big for Ginebra

CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER again played big as expected in Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s 121-112 victory over San Miguel Beer in Game 1 of their Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup semifinals on Friday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.