UAAP: Defending champion UP highlights Season 85 opening | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: Defending champion UP highlights Season 85 opening

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 06:29 PM September 20, 2022
Carl Tamayo UP La Salle UAAP

UP’s Carl Tamayo against La Salle defenders during the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament. – Tamayo and the Fighting Maroons open their quest for a second straight title against the La Salle Green Archers on October 1. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines gets its men’s basketball title defense going against La Salle, taking center stage when the UAAP Season 85 tips off on October 1 at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Fighting Maroons will return to action just five months after their historic championship run last season where they dethroned the Ateneo Blue Eagles in a storybook finals series.

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Host Adamson and University of Santo Tomas raise the curtains following a pre-recorded opening ceremony airing on Cignal TV.

A total of 60 events in 21 sports will be staged this season after the league only held seven events in Season 84 due to the pandemic.

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Aside from basketball, which includes 3×3 and the boys’ side, also on tap are badminton, chess, table tennis, beach volley, swimming, athletics, cheer dance, judo, taekwondo, football, volleyball, fencing, softball, baseball, football, tennis and street dance.

“Now, we are back and full of life,” UAAP president Fr. Aldrin Suan of Adamson said during the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

Health and safety protocols, however, like weekly COVID-19 testing will remain with venues such as MOA Arena and Araneta Coliseum having their own requirements and “will still impose certain restrictions,” according to UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag.

“The patron section will be opened but not to its full extent. The area behind the bench will remain restricted and still cordoned off pa din so that there is no contact with the players. The health of student-athletes is still paramount,” Saguisag stressed.

The league will take a break starting November 7 until November 16 to give way to Gilas Pilipinas’ bid in the fifth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers, honoring its commitment to help the national team program.

To compensate, the UAAP will hold quadruple-headers on Wednesdays while the traditional doubleheader stays on Saturdays and Sundays.

The other four teams will make their debuts on October 2 with University of the East facing National University while Ateneo takes on Far Eastern University in the main game.

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