THE PHILIPPINE Merchant Marine School starts its chase for a second straight crown when the 5th Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association unfolds today at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
After bagging the title on their maiden run last year, the Mariners have been tagged as favorites anew in the seven-team field of the men’s basketball tournament.
The league, with the theme “High Five for Season 5,” gets going with a 9 a.m. opening ceremony featuring Sen. Sonny Angara as guest speaker.
“All the schools are definitely committed and supportive of the program, so I think this league can go a long way,” Isaa president Ruel dela Rosa of Manila Tytana College said in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Tytana and St. Dominic College of Asia kick off action at 10 a.m., while Feati University and Philippine Women’s University battle at 11:30 a.m.
The Mariners open their title defense versus La Consolacion-Manila at 1 p.m., a rematch of last year’s finals.
“We think our team can win the title again,” said PMMS official Crispulo Onrubia. “We also still have coach Aldrin Morante.”
Only Manila Adventist Medical Center and Colleges won’t see action on opening day of the varsity league that also has tournaments in other sports like volleyball, swimming, badminton and table tennis.
“Close to 10,000 students will be there,” said league vice president Melai Tolentino of Feati. “It will be a festive and fun opening.”
Other league officials gracing the opener are Gregorio Magbalon (secretary), Antonio Giron (treasurer), Raul Santos (PRO), and Jose Yayen and Hector Estidola (board members).