DEFENDING champion and host school Centro Escolar University starts its title retention bid as the 12th Men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association opens on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
CEU and Enderun Colleges collide at 10 a.m., while last season’s third placer San Beda College Alabang faces Philippine Women’s University at 11:30 a.m. The University of Asia & Pacific square off with La Salle College Antipolo at 1 p.m. to bookend the first day of basketball action.
CEU president Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina expects tough competition between all the participating schools, but she encouraged all athletes to enjoy and learn from the experience.
"We would like to see that the fellowship between the players would continue in the games," said Padolina. "We'd want this to be an educational experience for the athletes."
Aside from winning the basketball title over Enderun last season, CEU bagged the volleyball and table tennis championships. The Scorpions start their defense of the volleyball crown against UA&P, the same team they denied last season, at 3 p.m. also at RMC.
UA&P topped the league’s three other events last season — futsal, badminton and street dance. This season's futsal tournament on January 10 at the UA&P gym. The badminton and table tennis start on January 31 at the SBCA grounds. The street dance competitions commence on January 24.