June 17 ------ The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is considering a Southeast Asian Games format as one of its options for next season. In an online forum with the Philippine Sportswriters Association on Tuesday, UAAP Executive Director Rebo Saguisag said the Board of Managing Directors has been coming up with various ideas for the league's return. One alternative is holding its events simultaneously in a short period of time, just like in the SEA Games.
"Ang SEA Games, tinatapos nila ang lahat ng events within two weeks. What's stopping the UAAP for doing the same thing?" said UAAP Season 82 President Em Fernandez. "Kung ang volleyball season technically runs from February to May, what's stopping the UAAP running the basketball side by side with the volleyball tournament? Nothing," he added. While the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reduced its tournaments to only four sports for Season 96, the UAAP is optimistic that they will play all sporting events next year. "Right now, we're looking at a full calendar, but when it will start, based on what the government stated, PSC said no tournaments until December of 2020, we're looking at the first quarter of 2021," Fernandez said.
UAAP canceled Season 82 last March following the implementation of community quarantine in Luzon. The NCAA also terminated its season and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) remains suspended. Sports leagues all over the world have been making adjustments to resume their tournaments safely amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). "This gives us a chance to make sports responsive, and even more superior that what existed pre-COVID-19," Saguisag said.
Fernandez said, however, that the specifics of Season 83 will only be discussed once schools resume operations. "These are students. Normalcy in schools will take precedence. Kung normal na ang pasok, regardless kung online or face-to-face, normal lahat nag-start ng school year, then we can talk about UAAP sports," he said.