UAAP to crown general champion, but no Athletes of the Year
MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP will formally say goodbye to its ill-fated Season 82 with a planned two-hour online closing ceremony, as announced on Tuesday, June 16, at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
During the ceremony, the league will award a general champion, but will not crown the Athletes of the Year. (READ: UST likely to win 4th straight double UAAP general championship)
UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag and Season 82 president Em Fernandez said more than two-thirds of the league calendar for both high school and college divisions were played out that made it fit to hail a general champion.
Last April, the UAAP had to cut its season short due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, 16 of the 18 high school events had been played, while 21 of 31 collegiate sports already wrapped up.
“[There were] athletes who didn’t get to compete or didn’t get to compete fully. That is the wisdom why they decided to have an overall champion but not an Athlete of the Year,” said Saguisag.
The closing ceremony will still be produced by its embattled broadcast partner, ABS-CBN.
“In coordination with ABS-CBN, initially it will be a two-hour show. It’s not live, it will be a taped two-hour closing ceremony,” said Saguisag.
Although the UAAP’s longtime broadcast partner has yet to secure a franchise renewal, its online pages are still operational and allowed to hold video streams.
Despite the uncertainties, the Season 82 exit show is planned to air by the end of July.
League to honor canceled sports
Apart from a different broadcast plan, this unique ceremony will highlight the athletes of all canceled second semester sports, including volleyball, football, baseball and athletics.
“At the end of the day, these athletes were a part of Season 82,” said Fernandez.
“Even if they weren’t able to play, they were still a part of Season 82, so we want to have an angle that we want to say that these sports or these athletes, they existed.”
Fencing, judo, juniors basketball and juniors football were the only tournaments to wrap up on time and escape the COVID-19 onslaught while volleyball and football teams played no more than two games each before the season got suspended last March.
Meanwhile, athletics, lawn tennis, 3x3 basketball, streetdance and ballroom dance demo were left unable to start until the season was eventually terminated in April.
In addition to this special segment, traditional parts of the closing ceremonies like athlete awarding and turnover to the next season host are slated to go on as planned.
As Ateneo wraps up its hosting duties, rival school La Salle will next take on the monumental task of hosting Season 83. (READ: UAAP Season 83 opening to align with school resumption) – Rappler.com