TV5’s grandiose plan for NCAABy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
WITH THE new partnership forged between the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and TV5, a master plan is in the works to make the country’s oldest collegiate league much bigger.
The grand plan is to show NCAA games and tournaments all over the country, according to TV5 executive vice president and COO Bobby Barreiro.
With TV5 serving as more than just a television coveror of the league, Barreiro said the long-term plan is to pattern the local NCAA after the US NCAA.
“The plan is a bit ambitious but that is our vision,” he said. “We hope to make every region in the land represented in the NCAA.”
Like in the US NCAA, the competing schools in various regions will play in a series of qualification tournaments leading up to the Final Four and ultimately, the championship.
The mechanics of the new format, is now under study, Barreiro said. Due to the lack of time, the implementation of the master plan cannot be done this NCAA season, which starts next month.
The NCAA and TV5 formally sealed a three-year contract recently, with TV5 securing the exclusive airing of all of the league’s sporting events—including the centerpiece basketball tournament—over free channel AKTV and cable sports network Hyper.
Fr. Tamerlane Lana of Letran, head of this year’s NCAA’s policy board, warmly welcomed the entry of the new coveror, which took over from a giant conglomerate that had broadcast the NCAA games for close to a decade.
He said the bold move definitely gives the league a “new opportunity.”
“With a new coveror, we’ll be very competitive with the other leagues,” said Fr. Lana. “We’ll be able to dictate our own terms, our own time, our own schedules. That’s what we can obtain in this new partnership.”
The new deal will have the NCAA holding games during weekends, specifically every Saturday, on the same game day of rival league University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
Barreiro pointed out that the change in schedule doesn’t mean they are competing head-on with the UAAP.
“We don’t have that in mind, going head-to-head with other leagues,” said the veteran TV executive. “But what we can assure is that we’re ready for every battle. We’re not backing down.”
Lana added: “We’re not worried. I think we have providence on our side.”
Other than basketball, events included in the NCAA calendar are swimming, taekwondo, track and field, chess, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, and cheerleading competition.
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With the inclusion of a second match in the format, this year’s PBA All-Star Week in Laoag will be truly star-studded.
The second game will feature the PBA Greats versus the PBA stalwarts. These two teams will be composed of a mix of PBA legends like four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Kenneth Duremdes and Ato Agustin and active PBA veterans such as Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, Mark Cardona, Sol Mercado, Asi Taulava and Cyrus Baguio.
The huge PBA delegation arrived in Laoag on Wednesday and it was welcomed by Laoag Mayor Mike Fariñas and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
Too bad I will miss the celebrity-studded four-day festivities this year.
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