As the 77th season of the UAAP comes to a close, UAAP board members have begun with the preparations for the next season of the collegiate league. Part of the preparations that were discussed in the recent board meeting was the venue for the grand opening ceremonies of its 78th season this September. It was decided that the official venue for the September 5 commencement of the league’s new season will be at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Santa Maria, Bulacan.
Following the theme “Unity in Excellence” by the University of the East, this year’s host, the University of the Philippines, has not yet decided the theme for next year as of press time. But sources say that the said university has been choosing between “That Thing Called Sports” and “Playing Out Loud.”
After the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) broke records in their season opener last October, the UAAP aims to do the same feat by holding eight games on the opening day. This means that all of the men’s and women’s basketball teams from each of the eight participating universities will be able to play in the largest indoor arena in the world. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” new UAAP President Juanito Malaya mentions. “We want to make the most of it by giving every team the chance to play in such a great venue.”
To accommodate the opening ceremonies and the eight games, the UAAP board plans to start the event as early as eight in the morning. Fans and spectators would be allowed to set camp outside the arena the day before the season opener so they would be able to witness the start of the event. Shuttle services will also be available all day in each of the universities to and from the Philippine Arena.
In DLSU, operations of the Arrows Express, the shuttle system that brings Lasallians to and from the Taft and STC campuses, will be suspended on the day of the grand event so that all shuttle busses can be used for the convenience of the event attendees. According to Miguel Velasco, head of the DLSU shuttle bus operations, there will be around 50 buses that will be available to those who wish to support the DLSU Green Archers and Lady Archers on the opening day of the league. “The ride is for free and seats are on a first come, first serve basis. Those who want to avail of the service will have to present their game tickets before entering the bus,” Velasco explains.
Forty thousand tickets will be divided equally among the participating schools while the remaining would be sold in sari-sari stores around Manila. For the DLSU community, ticket reservation would be done online through MLS accounts. It would be included in the course offerings for the first term of the academic year 2015-2016 with the course code, “USOATPA,” which stands for UAAP Season Opener at the Philippine Arena.
“Students will be allowed to reserve a maximum of two tickets from their DLSU accounts,” says University Registrar Voltaire Mistades. Advanced enrollment and the schedule per college, which will be announced at a later date, would still apply for the said course.
OSD Director Emmanuel Calanog is pleased with all the preparations being done in La Salle and hopes for a great season ahead. “Everyone’s doing their best to contribute to a successful opening of the new season and I am proud to say that DLSU is very much ready for Season 78,” he says.