New SM arena to host majority of UAAP basketball games

The 75th season of the UAAP will unfurl on July 14 at the soon-to-be-opened SM Mall of Asia Arena, where majority of the men’s basketball games will be held.

UAAP president Nilo Ocampo of host National University said that the school is looking forward to the season, which coincides with the diamond year of the collegiate league.

Adding to the prestige of the opener is the holding of the event at the much-awaited, brand-new MOA Arena. Ocampo said that the MOA Arena is almost complete and will definitely be ready in time for the opening rites.

“We, sort of, have a new home in the ultra-modern MOA Arena. Almost all of the basketball games are scheduled to be held in the venue,” said Ocampo in Friday’s SCOOP Forum.

Eighteen of the 28 playing dates of the men’s basketball competition will be played at MOA Arena. The SMART-Araneta Coliseum will continue to host several games while PhilSports Arena is also being eyed as a possible venue for a few matches.

To celebrate the diamond year of the league, NU is planning to honor the founders of the UAAP including their very own Leticia “Mommy” Paguia, one of the instrumental figures of the school. Paguia was once an official of the country’s baseball and softball federation.

Ocampo said that they are still in the process of finalizing the theme of the season but he added that it will definitely be related to diamond in reference to the 75th year of the league.

“It is something about diamond and it being unbreakable,” Ocampo hinted.

Ocampo also said that NU will also be putting more emphasis on the other sports events in the calendar. Fourteen sports are being contested in the league—athletics, archery, basketball, swimming, taekwondo, chess, table tennis, judo, football, archery, badminton, lawn tennis, baseball and softball.

“This is one way of bringing back to the league supporters the benefits the UAAP now enjoys,” Ocampo said. “Without the fans, the UAAP wouldn’t have reached the popularity it now has.”

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