MANILA, Philippines – Following the Philippine Sports Commission's (PSC) decision to cancel all scheduled national competitions this year, the UAAP said it could go the same route if there's still no vaccine for the coronavirus.
This decision opens the possibility that Season 83, starting with the highly popular men's basketball tournament, won't be held by September.
"If there's no vaccine, magkakahawaan pa rin (people will still get infected)," UAAP Season 82 president and board member Emmanuel Fernandez told Rappler.
"Even though PSC emphasized that the UAAP and PBA have their own charters, it definitely would be the same."
Aside from the vaccine, Fernandez also said starting a new season would hinge on the regularity of classes among the league's 8 member schools.
It would be the first requirement, he said, before the UAAP would allow the resumption of the athletes' training and the hosting of competitions.
If classes still continue to be held online, the league cannot resume because it defeats the purpose of physical distancing.
The national government said under the general community quarantine, physical classes cannot be held but higher education institutions can operate to receive students' requirements. (DOCUMENT: Omnibus guidelines on enhanced, general community quarantine)
Mass gatherings – including sports events – cannot be held as well.
UAAP Season 82 was canceled on April 7 after President Rodrigo Duterte extended the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon until April 30.
The collegiate events that stopped mid-season were volleyball and football. Baseball, softball, athletics, lawn tennis, and 3×3 basketball, meanwhile, never had a chance to hold a single game.
Season 83 was slated to begin in September, bannered by the basketball competition where the Ateneo Blue Eagles will gun for a four-peat while the National University Lady Bulldogs will aim to extend their 96-0 winning streak. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.