MANILA, Philippines – On its 75th year, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) breaks tradition.
The country’s premiere collegiate athletic league opened Saturday, July 14, with a flurry of lights, fireworks and dancing in a venue unfamilar even to the most avid UAAP fans.
For the first time ever, the league opened the season at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City. It’s miles away from the Araneta Center in Cubao, where the league usually holds its major games.
For season 75, majority of the games will be held at the MOA Arena, including the much-awaited showdown between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the De La Salle Green Archers.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos graced the opening and led the ceremonial tip-off.
In an interview with Rappler, the former president and sports enthusiast said, “I can speak with authority tungkol sa collegiate sports. Kasi 70 years ago, cheerleader na ako diyan [para sa] UP high school and so I’ve been with the UAAP… all these years.”
“I urge all the young people to be always healthy and physically fit [because that way] you will be able to serve our country longer and much better,” he added.
His presence didn’t go unnoticed on social media. As of posting, “FVR” was a top trending topic in the Philippines. Other phrases related to the UAAP such as the opening game “FEU vs UST” were also trending topics.
Here’s how people on Twitter are reacting to the UAAP season opening:
How did you find the UAAP season opening? Let us know what you think in the comments section below! – Rappler.com