MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in three years, the UAAP will expand out of the Mall of Asia Arena and back to other venues for the upcoming Season 85 basketball tournament.
Apart from MOA – where the entirety of the Season 84 bubble competitions were held – the league will now return for games at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, the PhilSports Arena (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City, and the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Further pre-pandemic features of this season’s basketball tournament also include the return of weekend double-header afternoon schedules, the return of the women’s seniors and boys’ high school tournaments, and patron/VIP arena seating for fans.
Kicking off the tournament at MOA on Saturday, October 1, are matches between Adamson and UST at 2 pm, and contending La Salle versus defending champion UP at 4 pm.
UE and Final Four dark horse NU start off the Sunday, October 2 hostilities at 2 pm still at MOA, before Season 84 runner-up Ateneo and FEU rekindle their rivalry at 4 pm.
Quadruple-headers will still be a part of the season due to the upcoming FIBA window break and will start on Wednesday, October 5, at PhilSports with all eight schools competing.
The league then makes its Araneta return on October 8 and will wrap up that weekend with the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry showdown on Sunday, October 9, 4 pm.
Other key matches are the FEU-La Salle and Adamson-NU matches on October 15 to give an early peek on which teams will join expected contenders UP and Ateneo. Meanwhile, the Maroons and Eagles will clash for the first time since their classic Season 84 finals war on October 16 at MOA.
The first round will then end on with back-to-back Antipolo hostings and interesting matchups between Adamson and La Salle on October 22, and NU and FEU on October 23.
Filling up the weekend schedules are morning double-headers for the women’s basketball tournament, which will feature the return of the invincible NU Lady Bulldogs and their ongoing 96-game winning streak.
The UST Quadricentennial Pavilion will serve as the women’s Wednesday venue for their own quadruple-header slates.
Games will be televised at One Sports on free TV and Cignal Play online. – Rappler.com