MANILA, Philippines – Reigning UAAP king Ateneo Blue Eagles will start a new era without Thirdy Ravena and the rest of their championship core against the UP Fighting Maroons in a first-day “Battle of Katipunan” on March 26 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The UAAP has released its Season 84 men’s basketball tournament first round schedule on Thursday, a little over a week before tipoff, where all eight league member-schools will see action.
At 10 am, the FEU Tamaraws and the UST Growling Tigers will play the first seniors basketball game since November 20, 2019, followed by a match between the Adamson Soaring Falcons and the NU Bulldogs at 1 pm.
After the Ateneo-UP tussle at 4 pm, season host La Salle Green Archers will flaunt their revamped roster still led by possible MVP candidate Justine Baltazar against the young UE Red Warriors at the 7 pm main event.
All game days on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays will follow this quadruple-header format where all eight universities will play.
Other key games are the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry match on Saturday, April 2, 7 pm, and the Ateneo-UST Season 82 finals rematch on Saturday, April 7, 4 pm.
There will be no fans allowed inside the MOA Arena at first, but the UAAP will review possible fan attendance by the second round depending on the prevailing COVID-19 situation, and approval by concerned government agencies.
The men’s basketball tournament will serve as the league’s testing ground for other sports, including top spectator events like women’s volleyball, and the fan-dependent cheerdance competition.