Philippine Sportswriter Association
September 6, 2022
THE National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is expanding to include six more sports in its calendar of events aside from basketball and volleyball for the coming Season 98.
Competitions in track and field and swimming will be back starting this year, as well as beach volleyball, chess, taekwondo, and the ever popular cheerleading competition.
During the 97th season, only men’s basketball and women’s volleyball were played as the country’s oldest media organization little by little cautiously returned to face-to-face competitions and allowed student fans again in the stand amid the continuous threat of COVID-19.
Letran retained its title in men’s basketball, while St. Benilde completed a season sweep in clinching the women’s volleyball championship.
“In Season 97, we only had two major games in basketball men’s senior and women’s volleyball. But in Season 98, we gradually add many events, and practically apat na yung ating mandatory events which is basketball (men’s and juniors), volleyball (men and womens), senior track and field, and swimming (men and womens),” disclosed NCAA Mancom chairman Estefanio Boquiron of host school Emilio Aguinaldo College.
Boquiron said also added in the calendar of sports is the special event of volleyball boys and girls, while All-Star Games in basketball and volleyball will also be held.
“Maski hindi lahat kasama, we added more than the previous season,” added the EAC official during the face-to-face session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the ground floor of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Vice-chairman Paul Supan of Jose Rizal University, immediate past chairman Dax Castellano of St. Benilde, Letran’s Fr. Vic Calvo, and Arellano University’s Peter Cayco joined Boquiron in the weekly sports program presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee, Amelie Hotel Manila, and Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Despite the increase in the number of events, the league will still observe safe and healthy protocols such as the wearing of mask, using of alcohol and disinfection, and social distancing with the pandemic still around the corner.
“Of course, we’re still cautious because of the problem that we have,” Boquiron added.
The new season kicks off this Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with a doubleheader featuring the host school going up against Arellano in the first game at 3:30 p.m., and last year’s runner up Mapua battling San Beda in a rematch of their Final Four pairing last year.
Arellano replaced Letran in the opener after members of the Knights were put under health protocols.
Theme for this season is ‘Achieve Greatness Every Day.’
After the opener, the entire first round of the tournament will be held at the FilOil EcoOil Arena in San Juan.