THE LANDSCAPE of Philippine collegiate sports is expected to drastically change with the impending merger of two established leagues, the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) and the Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (UCLAA) in the second semester of the current academic year. As of the moment, a new name for the NCRAA-UCLAA entity has yet to be agreed upon but that does not stop the union.
The NCRAA completed its 23rd season earlier this year with Philippine Merchant Marine School (PMMS) clinching the second of back-to-back championships in the centerpiece Basketball tournament. At about the same time, the UCLAA crowned PATTS College of Aeronautics as the Basketball champion of its eighth season.
Interestingly, the UCLAA was formed in 2008 after Saint Francis of Assisi College bolted the NCRAA over issues with the league’s officials, bringing along National College of Business and Arts with them. Since then, the NCRAA has suffered and the league that once boasted of double-digit membership played with only five schools last season – PMMS, Olivarez College, Rizal Technological University, De La Salle University-Dasmarinas and Philippine School of Business Administration-Quezon City.
It is no different with the UCLAA as their membership is also a revolving door in their eight years of existence. The latest membership roster counts ten schools – PATTS, SFACS, NCBA, Asian Institute of Maritime Studies, De Ocampo Memorial College, Colegio de San Lorenzo, Lyceum of Alabang, Philippine Nautical and Technical College, Philippine State College of Aeronautics and Technological Institute of the Philippines.
The combined 15 schools might just grow further as other schools have expressed their intention to join the new organization. Among the interested parties is Saint Clare College of Caloocan, the same school that bagged the 21st NCRAA Basketball crown in 2014 via a 14-game sweep in its only season of participation.
Further inspection of the list reveals that a good number of the schools are also members of other varsity leagues in the first semester, an issue that has to be settled soonest. For now, let us see how this new “marriage” will work out.