Games on Saturday
4 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
5 p.m. – San Sebastian vs Letran
7 p.m. – Jose Rizal University vs Mapua
The oldest collegiate league in the country opens its doors in a new home, with host Letran hoping to put on a great show and four teams excited to showcase red hot NCAA basketball action on Saturday.
Opening festivities from the SMART-Araneta Coliseum will be broadcast live on AKTV at 4 p.m., with Letran expected to showcase the long history of the school, which dates back to its Spanish-era roots, and the league, which is on its 88th season.
In the first game at 5 p.m., San Sebastian will be back with a bang with big men Calvin Abueva expected to lead the charge for the Stags against the Knights, who will parade an almost-intact lineup from last year anchored on star guard Kevin Alas.
Jose Rizal University and Mapua Institute of Technology collide in the main game at 7 p.m. with the Cardinals having to make do with a crippled lineup due to unexpected last minute bans on four rookies in their roster, who have been disallowed due to lack of residency.
With a new broadcast partner in AKTV, Letran rector and president Tamerlane Lana, who chairs the league’s policy board, said that the NCAA is expected to get the exposure it deserves.
“We can’t avoid to compare things [with other leagues], but I’m sure with this kind of setup, it will give us an opportunity to show NCAA’s worth as the oldest collegiate league in the country,” he said.