NCAA moves Season 97 opening to late March
MANILA, Philippines–The NCAA management committee has decided to move the opening ceremony to late March to allow for at least six weeks of training for its student-athletes.
That is after the league, which is unveiling its 97th hosted by St. Benilde, sought the help of the Commission on Higher Education to obtain exemptions from restrictions on sporting activities.
It was supposed to formally begin March 5 with four sports on its calendar.
“But this will have to pass through the DOH (Department of Health),” said man-com official Peter Cayco of Arellano University. “We are just hoping that with the decline of (coronavirus) cases, they will grant our request.”
If the government decides to de-escalate to Alert Level 2, it would give the league full authority to resume training for the men’s basketball and women’s volleyball competitions.
Some schools have already brought their students/athletes to Metro Manila from the provinces after they failed to re-book plane tickets when the alert level was raised early this month.
“For the tournament to be competitive, our teams need six to eight weeks of training,” said Cayco, whose women’s volleyball team has won the title for three straight years before the pandemic struck.
The NCAA man-com and its television partner GMA Network have yet to confirm the new date.
The league has actually started the season with its online chess and online taekwondo (poomsae and speed-kicking) competitions.