THE FAMILY just got even bigger as two more institutions of higher learning beat the deadline to confirm participation in the 14th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) season set to open on August 12, 2014 at the Makati Coliseum starting at 8:00 AM. Diliman Computer Technology Institute and Santa Isabel College thus raised the league’s membership to nine teams.
To be known as the Senators, DCTI will be coached by former PBA and MBA pro player Rensy Bajar who is no stranger to the NAASCU game having previously handled the Our Lady of Fatima University Phoenix seniors from 2009 to 2012. DCTI was founded in 1998 by Senator Nikki Coseteng, whose basketball background includes the distinction of being the first woman team manager in the PBA via Galerie Dominique in 1983.
Santa Isabel is opening a new chapter in the school’s 382-year history as they plunge into major varsity sports competitions for the very first time. Aside from basketball, the school is looking forward to field entries in the second semester disciplines.
A simple opening ceremony will be held in between a pair of Seniors Division matches pitting the New Era University Hunters against the City University of Pasay Eagles and the much awaited rematch of last year’s title series between defending champion Centro Escolar University Scorpions and runner-up Saint Clare College of Caloocan Saints. The Scorpions clipped the Saints in the best-of-three series, 2-1.
DCTI will not be the only Senators on the Makati Coliseum floor that day. Incumbent Senators and siblings Pia Cayetano and Alan Peter Cayetano have been invited as guests of honor.
The annual Mister and Miss NAASCU personality contest will also be conducted. The opening day tradition has grown to be very competitive as campus beauties and heartthrobs try to outdo each other.
Completing the field are the Our Lady of Fatima University Phoenix, Rizal Technological University Blue Thunder and another new member in the Philippine Christian University Dolphins. Saint Clare is this year’s host school.
Aside from winning the Seniors Division, Centro Escolar also took home last season’s Juniors Division and Women’s Division crowns as well for a rare triple. It will be a different story this year as the rest of the pack will definitely go all out to unseat the current holders.
The NAASCU enters its 14th season on a high after its teams were invited and gave credible performances at the preseason FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup over the summer, earning the attention and respect of the Philippine basketball community. The Scorpions, Saints, Lady Scorpions and Lady Thunder gave their more fancied opponents a tough time with both CEU teams taking Third Place in the Seniors and Women’s Divisions.
Basketball will be the lone discipline for the first semester. Volleyball, Athletics, Swimming, Chess, Badminton, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Cheerleading, Street Dance and Billiards will be contested in the second semester.