Host Colegio de San Juan de Letran put together a memorable show to begin Season 88 of the NCAA in colorful opening rites that showcased the history and heritage of the Philippines.
Letran, which was founded in 1620, wowed the packed crowd at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum that combined its Spanish roots with its modern trappings.
The ceremonies for the season, themed Celebramos 88: Conquistar Por Tu Honor Nuevas Glorias (Celebrate 88: Conquering New Glories for Your Honor) began with an interpretative dance that depicted the arrival of Catholicism in the country.
Letran’s drummers then set the tone for the next part of the program, which featured athletes from various sports taking center court in a dazzling electric light show.
Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P., rector and president of Letran, underscored the importance of change in his opening remarks. “We can only conquer great heights if we are open to change. I would like to thank the NCAA community for participating actively all the preparations for this season. We would also want to thanks AKTV, our new coveror as well as IBC 13 and ABC 5 for taking the challenge of giving the NCAA fans and community a new perspective,” he said.
Each of the 10 schools’ cheering squads then performed a short routine. The parade of athletes followed, with Letran star guard Kevin Alas leading the Oath of Sportsmanship. Lana declared the games open, to the delight of the crowd, which included prominent Letran alumni Samboy Lim, Kerby Raymundo, and Rey Guevarra.