The level of excitement is getting higher as university students and alumni anticipate the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 81 opening happening on September 8 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines and seen outside the country via The Filipino Channel’s (TFC) different platforms, in most countries worldwide.
Going with the theme It All Begins Here, the season aims to highlight how the athletic association and the university pride it incites had led to the success of numerous athletes.
“Sports is indeed a great equalizer and an equal opportunity provider. But before we can reach the top of the mountain and breathe success, they must first start somewhere and to that we say—it all begins here,” said UAAP Season 81 President Nilo Ocampo of the host National University, during his opening remarks at the media launch.
Proving this claim are some of today’s coaches and assistant coach of the participating universities namely Olsen Racela, Bo Perasol and Don Allado, who all started as UAAP student-athletes.
Racela was part of the varsity team of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) from 1988 to 1993 before he launched his career to the Philippine Basketball League (PBA) and retired in 2011. Until in 2016, he was hired by Far Eastern University (FEU) as their basketball team’s head coach and now on his third season with the team.
It was in 1990 when Perasol started playing for the University of the Philippines (UP) until he graduated in 1994. He then served as a coach for UP Fighting Maroons Juniors before he served as head coach for the PBA team Air21 in 2005. He became ADMU’s coach for three seasons, and in 2016 was appointed as UP’s head coach until the present.
Allado, meanwhile, was one of the best players of De La Salle University (DLSU) during his time which is from 1996 to 2000. He started his professional basketball career in 1999 until he retired in 2015 and became Adamson University’s (AdU) assistant coach for three seasons now.
Now, it’s time for the new breed of student-athletes to start their journey to greatness as they play for their respective universities.
Last year’s champion Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles is up for the challenge to defend their title from the seven other teams: Adamson University Soaring Falcons, De La Salle University Green Archers, Far Eastern University Tamaraws, National University Bulldogs, University of the East Red Warriors, University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers.
After the opening ceremony, kicking off the season are the games between the Fighting Maroons and Red Warriors at 2:00 P.M. (Manila time) and the Bulldogs and Growling Tigers at 4:00 P.M. (Manila time).
The next set of games will happen on September 9 between the Tamaraws and Green Archers at 12nn (Manila time) and defending champs Blue Eagles and Soaring Falcons at 4:00 P.M. (Manila time).
Don’t miss the opening ceremony and the exciting basketball games of this season of the UAAP Season 81 seen outside the Philippines via TFC starting on September 8 at 12NN (Manila time).