NCAA basketball

NCAA Season 99 kicks off with expanded calendar, MOA Arena basketball opener

JR Isaga

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NCAA Season 99 kicks off with expanded calendar, MOA Arena basketball opener

Kurt Reyson sinks 2 of his career-high 31 points against JRU at the NCAA Season 98

GMA Sports-Angela Davocol

The NCAA continues to re-expand beyond the pandemic's chokehold as Season 99 features more sports and a return to the Mall of Asia Arena for men's basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Another collegiate season is upon Filipino sports fans as NCAA Season 99 formally kicks off on Sunday, September 24, with the return of the men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Exemplifying the league’s return to normalcy from a difficult pandemic stretch, Season 99 features an expanded sports calendar with the return of badminton and table tennis alongside staple sports like basketball, volleyball, athletics, and swimming.

Also on the docket are cheerleading, taekwondo, chess, and grassroots programs like kiddie basketball and 3×3 basketball.

“The Management Committee in particular has been exemplary in really trying to develop. We know we’re coming out of the pandemic. We know the student-athletes have been very excited to get back to full competition,” said Dr. Vincent Fabella, the Season 99 policy board president.

“There’s an extra excitement coming onto the tournaments this year, so we expect a much higher level of competition and excellence. We are very fortunate we’re following the FIBA World Cup so that level of hype and excitement is there, so we hope you all enjoy the upcoming season.”

In the first game at the MOA Arena since the FIBA World Cup final, the title four-peat-seeking Letran Knights with new head coach Rensy Bajar are set to challenge the rising season host JRU Heavy Bombers at 3 pm, following the 2 pm opening ceremonies.

Meanwhile, Letran’s Season 98 finals challenger CSB Blazers debut at 5:30 pm against former title contender LPU Pirates.

After the opening double-header, other men’s basketball games are slated for a near-daily cycle at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City, with only Mondays and Wednesdays serving as off days.

Notably, Saturday games will start at 9:30 am and Sundays will have triple-headers starting at 10 am. –

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