UP-Ateneo rematch on October 16 as UAAP releases first round schedule
MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion University of the Philippines and runner-up Ateneo renew their rivalry on October 16 in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.
The UAAP has released its first round schedule with the Fighting Maroons and Blue Eagles meeting for the first time since the former took the Season 84 championship with JD Cagulangan’s title-clinching triple in Finals Game 3 to end a 36-year drought.
UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde is fielding the core of his championship squad led by Cagulangan, last year’s top rookie Carl Tamayo, Zavier Lucero, James Spencer and Finals MVP Malick Diouf.
Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin is leaning on reigning Season MVP Ange Kouame, Dave Ildefonso, Chris Koon, and Forthsky Padrigao as well as newcomers Kai Ballungay and Paul Garcia in their bid to redeem the glory.
For the first time, tickets for the 4:30 p.m. match between Ateneo and UP will be sold separately. The first game between University of Santo Tomas and University of the East is set for 1 p.m.
UP starts its title-retention bid against De La Salle on October 1 at MOA Arena 4 p.m. after a pre-recorded opening ceremony which will be aired on Cignal TV at 12:30 p.m. Bal David’s debut as University of Santo Tomas head coach facing Adamson at 2 p.m serves as the oepner.
Runner-up Ateneo kicks off its redemption season against Final Four rival Far Eastern University on Sunday at 4 p.m., right after the 2 p.m. showdown between preseason champion National University and University of the East.
LOOK: UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament 1st round schedule.The UAAP women’s basketball is also returning to action for the first time this pandemic. | via Lance Agcaoili/Inquirer Sports
Meanwhile, fierce rivals Ateneo and La Salle clash on October 9 at Smart Araneta Coliseum at 4:30 p.m., while NU and UST meet at 1 p.m.
Brothers Nash Racela of Adamson and FEU head coach Olsen face each other on October 12, capping the quadruple header at MOA Arena.
Unlike Season 84, where all basketball matches were only held at MOA Arena, the league will use four different venues at least for the first round including PhilSports Arena in Pasig and Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City, where the last two playdates of the round will be played.
Games are played every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
The second round will open on October 26 before the league takes a break from November 7 to 15 to give way for Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.
The Final Four will begin on November 30, while the best-of-three Finals starts on December 7 before the Cheerdance Competition on December 10.
The basketball season could end on Dec. 11, if necessary Game 3 is scheduled on Dec.14.