(Olivarez College gym, Parañaque)
12 noon – Opening Ceremony
1 p.m. – Olivarez College vs BSU
3 p.m. – TIP vs Univ. of Batangas
Two provincial teams are out to make an impression when they go up against the Big City bets as the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) opens today at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City with hopes of establishing itself as a new alternative for thousands of aspiring student-athletes.
First to showcase its talent is Bulacan State University as the Gold Gears collide with the Olivarez College Sea Lions at 1 p.m. in a game where both teams are expected to use their speed and quick ball movements to make up for lack of legitimate frontliners.
The host squad has no player standing more than 6-foot-3 with Jayboy Solis being the tallest, while the Gold Gears have to transform the role of a pair of 6-foot-1 players into center position.
Still, coaches of both schools – Antonio Tayao of BSU and Michael Saguiguit – are confident they can pull off surprises along the way.
Also looking for a good start in the league sponsored by Lamoiyan Corp. and EuroMed is the University of Batangas Brahman who are pitted against one of the two title favorites in Technological Institute of the Philippines Engineers.
Their showdown is set at 3 p.m. with the Engineers determined to apply their experience and use their vaunted firepower to hurdle their first game assignment.
Aside from TIP, also fancied to win the inaugural seven-team tournament is Centro Escolar University.
CEU has blossomed into one of the most successful collegiate teams in the country today by dominating the other collegiate league aside from winning a PBA Developmental League against more experienced team.
The two other teams in the tournament that will have a double round elimination are Diliman College and Colegio de San Lorenzo
While he has glowing words for CEU, Franklin Evidente, president of the organizing Universities and Colleges Athletic League, still expects an interesting chase for the title.
“While CEU and TIP have vast experiences and the necessary ingredients to be champion teams, I still expect a wide race for the title,” said Evidente. “I’m very happy that after months of hard work we are now staging this event.