Expect packed UAAP Season 82 as PH hosts 2019 SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines – UAAP Season 82 host Ateneo laid out plans to adjust the league schedule as the Philippines hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games starting November 30.
As men’s basketball action usually ends early December, Ateneo plans to compress the schedule and wrap up the tournament by the third week of November.
Ateneo UAAP board representative Emmanuel Fernandez said the proposed schedule will require all 8 teams to play in a heavy four-game bill every Wednesday. The weekend games, though, will continue with the regular two-game schedule.
“We proposed to the UAAP board [that] basically each team will play on a weekend and on a Wednesday tuloy-tuloy (continuously)," Fernandez, Ateneo’s University Athletics Office director, told Rappler.
The women's basketball games will follow the same schedule and be relocated to a different venue from the men's games on Wednesdays.
According to Fernandez, this situation is similar to the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons’ playoff run last season where they wound up playing 4 games in a span of two weeks.
“It’s allowed because as long as the two [rest] days are given," said Fernandez. "And it’s for the SEA Games. It’s not like we’re going to do it every year."
Ateneo also noted that it needs to adjust to the national sports associations (NSAs), which will likely tap several UAAP athletes to suit up for the Philippine team in the regional biennial meet.
"There might be athletes playing in the SEA Games and we don’t know if they (NSAs) want it that there will be a UAAP tournament before the SEA Games or [they have to] make sure that [they don't have scheduled tournaments]," added Fernandez.
Ateneo still intends to start the UAAP season in September, but with a plan to hold the opening ceremonies days before the basketball competitions kick off.
"We want to have a separate opening ceremony so it will really open not just the basketball games, but to open the entire season for the UAAP," said Fernandez.
Venues located in the campuses of UAAP schools like the Blue Eagle Gym and the football fields of UP and Far Eastern University-Diliman are also being eyed as practice venues for the 2019 SEA Games. – Rappler.com