Baste team to beat in NAASCU
SAN Sebastian College-Cavite is the defending champion, but several other teams are expected to provide stiff challenge when the 10th season of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) finally comes of the wraps on July 30 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and Rizal Coliseum.
The Baycats, who are seeking an unprecedented third straight championship, are installed as the prohibitive favorites in the prestigious tournament organized by the NAASCU for the 10th straight year.
Last year, SSC-Cavite swept five-time champion University of Manila, 71-69, in Game 1 and repeated, 98-91, in overtime in Game 2 in the scheduled best-of-three-title showdown to capture the title for the second straight year.
The Egay Macaraya-mentored Baycats bagged their first-ever title by beating STI College in 2008.
“We expect another exciting basketball season with most of the teams ready to take another crack at the elusive title ,” said NAASCU president Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem of St. Clare College.
Adalem said that although only four teams – UM, SSC-Cavite, STI and AMA Computer University — have won the NAASCU title, the competition is always “tight and exciting due to the talent-laden l ineups of the member-teams.”
NAASCU chairman Atty. Ernesto de los Santos of UM said more than 12,000 students from different member-schools are expected to show up during the opening day alone.
“In the opening games of the basketball alone, we expect an overflow crowd,” said De los Santos, whose team, UM Hawks, dominated the league’s first five seasons.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Harry Angping will be the guest of honor during the opening ceremonies while Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno will be the keynote speaker.
This year’s theme, according to Adalem, is “Education Through Sports.”
Basketball competitions will usher in the season with hostilities in two different venues – Ninoy Aquino Stadium and Rizal Coliseum.
Aside from basketball, other disciplines to be contested in the NAASCU calendar are volleyball, billiards, track and field, badminton, table tennis, taekwondo, handball and duathlon.
There will also be a cheer dance competition among the participating schools, colleges and universities.
Joining SSC-Cavite are UM, St. Clare College-Caloocan, Centro Escolar University, New Era University, University of Makati,AMA Computer College, STI College, Informatics, Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Pasay, Our Lady of Fatima University and Lyceum of Subic Bay.
Competitions will also be held in the junior level, adding that college players may compete in the division as long as they meet the age requirement.
Also on tap is games in the women’s division. Radito Torres