UAAP, NCAA inaugurals on despite A(H1N1)
By Joey Villar Updated June 11, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – Despite the rising incidence of Influenza A(H1N1) in the metropolis, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines leagues will be held as scheduled.
NCAA chief Fr. Mat de Jesus, OSB, of San Beda and UAAP president Anton Montinola of Far Eastern U yesterday said their school league will open their season June 27 and July 11, respectively, at the Araneta Coliseum with the basketball competition despite reported A(H1N1) cases in some member schools.
“Yes, we’re going ahead with everything, God willing,” de Jesus said.
“The UAAP will open as scheduled,” Montinola said during yesterday’s UAAP board meeting.
At the moment, classes in Ateneo and La Salle of the UAAP and St. Benilde of the NCAA have been suspended due to A(H1N1) cases reported in their campuses.
UAAP basketball tournament director Mark Molina said the opening game pitting Univ. of Santo Tomas against Adamson at 2 p.m. and last year’s losing finalist La Salle against University of the East at 4 p.m. on July 11 will not be affected.
Univ. of the Phils. squares off with National U at 2 p.m. and defending champion Ateneo tests Far Eastern U’s mettle at 4 p.m. in another pair of matches on July 12.
NCAA will have reigning three-peat titlist San Beda going up against Mapua at 2 p.m., Jose Rizal versus Letran at 4 p.m. and Perpetual Help against San Sebastian at 6 p.m. in its own opening day offering.
St. Benilde opens its bid against guest team Angeles University Foundation at 2 p.m. while Arellano U and Emilio Aguinaldo College, the two other guest squads, debut at 4 p.m. at The Arena in San Juan City on June 29.
“No changes as far as the NCAA schedule is concerned,” said NCAA management committee chair Jose Mari Lacson of San Beda.
According to the Department of Health, 13 of the reported 57 A(H1N1) cases came from La Salle and one from nearby St. Benilde.
Classes at La Salle was suspended as early as last week while St. Benilde will resume classes on June 19, a week before the 85th NCAA season opening.
Ateneo, which announced Tuesday night it has three students tested positive for the virus, recently suspended its classes and will resume on June 22.
“So far none of our athletes have tested positive and they continue to train,” said Bro. Bernie Oca, La Salle’s representative to the league board.
Management Committee member Henry Atayde of St. Benilde said their participation in the NCAA will not be jeopardized by the A(H1N1) cases although the Blazers will not be joining the pre-season tournament lined up by ABS-CBN for UAAP and NCAA.
The said tournament organized by the two leagues’ official television carrier will pit the best of the UAAP against the finest from the NCAA in what promises to be an interesting battle.
“We will not be joining the tournament of ABS-CBN in compliance with the directives of the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Health,” said Atayde.
La Salle and UST had already pulled out of the tournament.