FOUR OTHER varsity squads will go all out to break the stranglehold of Colegio de San Lorenzo as the fifth season of the Universities, Colleges and Schools Athletic Association (UCSAA) opens on August 14, 2015 (Friday) at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. This season’s host is Saint Dominic Savio College with Pasig Catholic College, University of Makati and De La Salle-Araneta University completing the compact cast.
The CDSL Griffins under Coach Boni Garcia have won the last three UCSAA tournaments and are now aiming for a four-peat. The host SDSC Unicorns of Coach Monel Kallos looms as the biggest threat to the Griffins’ title dreams.
“As the host school, we have doubled our efforts in practice and we have played tune-up games with teams from other school leagues,” said Coach Kallos during the league’s recent launch at the Aberdeen Court in Quezon City. UCSAA President Dr. Nestor V. dela Cruz was on hand to welcome the guests and introduce the member schools in the simple rites that included entertainment numbers from the SDSC Dance Troupe and the presentation of the candidates for Miss UCSAA for the Seniors Division and Miss Teen UCSAA for the Juniors Division.
The five schools will play a two-round elimination phase after which the best four will advance to the crossover semifinals followed by the best-of-three championship series. FIBA Commissioner Anthony Sulit is this year’s commissioner with referees from the National Referees Commission (NARECOM).
The age requirement for the Seniors Division is born January 1, 1991 onwards with a maximum of five playing years. Filipino-foreigners may play but foreign players are not allowed as well as those that have suited up in commercial leagues like the PBA D-League.
Transferees from NCAA and UAAP teams will be required to undergo a one-year residency. Those coming from the NAASCU, other Metro Manila-based leagues and the provinces may play immediately.
The Juniors Division rules have been slightly modified in line with the implementation of the K-12 program. Now, college freshmen may play as long as they were born from January 1, 1997 onwards.
The opening day matchups will be determined soon. Teams will take turns at staging the games at their school gyms or a venue of their choice.
This season’s theme is “One Vision, One Spirit, One Team: UCSAA Reaching Greater Heights.” Aside from basketball, the league also conducts competitions in volleyball, cheering, badminton, swimming, chess, billiards, table tennis and taekwondo.