MANILA, Philippines – For the first time since the pandemic began, the Collegiate Press Corps will once again honor the cream of the crop in amateur sports – some of whom are now full-fledged professionals – in the return of its annual Awards Night this May 29, at The Hummingbird Rooftop Bar in Quezon City.
In a unique night of celebration, reporters from print and online outfits covering the UAAP and the NCAA will reminisce three collegiate seasons’ worth of excellence, giving overdue recognition to the best basketball and volleyball players since 2019, and their coaches who helped them reach the top.
For the past three seasons, the Letran Knights have been the standard in NCAA basketball, completing a three-peat in Seasons 95, 97, and 98 under the guidance of head coach Bonnie Tan. Season 96, hosted by Letran, did not feature basketball and other contact sports tournaments.
In UAAP basketball, Katipunan neighbors Ateneo and UP have led the way under their respective head coaches Tab Baldwin and Goldwin Monteverde, with the Blue Eagles and Fighting Maroons alternating titles in Seasons 82, 84, and 85.
Season 83 was cancelled outright due to the pandemic, while Season 84 featured UP’s historic title win that ended a 36-year drought.
Meanwhile, the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers under head coach Jerry Yee have been the dominant force in NCAA volleyball, cruising to consecutive titles in Seasons 97 and 98.
Season 95’s volleyball tournament was cancelled soon after the end of basketball season, while Season 96 followed in 2021 with a full virtual setup and purely non-contact sports like poomsae, taekwondo speed-kicking, and online chess.
In UAAP volleyball, on the other hand, the NU Lady Bulldogs under Karl Dimaculangan ended a 65-year wait for the crown in Season 84 with a rare 16-0 sweep, before the La Salle Lady Spikers under the legendary Ramil de Jesus exacted revenge with a Season 85 title redemption bid.
Athletes who will be honored in the event presented by the San Miguel Corporation and the Philippine Sports Commission include the likes of Carl Tamayo (UP), Ange Kouame (Ateneo), and Rhenz Abando (Letran) for basketball.
Volleyball’s elite, meanwhile, will be represented by the likes of Angel Canino (La Salle), Bella Belen (NU), and Gayle Pascual (St. Benilde), and celebrated by the Collegiate Press Corps supported by Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Appliances, and Handyman. – Rappler.com
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