GILAS Pilipinas heroes who used to play in the Universities and Colleges Athletic Association (UCAA), will be honored when the 12th season of the collegiate league kicks off with the centerpiece event of basketball this Saturday.
UCAA president Tisha Abundo made the announcement at the PSA Forum on Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate, where she also bared the schedule four-game bill opening the league at the Blue Eagle gym inside the Ateneo de Manila campus in Katipunan Ave. Quezon City.
Gilas Pilipinas members Ranidel de Ocampo of Talk 'N Text, Gary David of GlobalPort, and Mark Pingris of San Mig Coffee in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) once played for collegiate squads in the UCAA.
De Ocampo used to play for St. Francis of Assissi, David suited up for the Lyceum Pirates, and Pingris was once part of the PSBA Jaguars.
“We would like to mention that they started and once played in our league, and we are proud of this,” said Abundo during the weekly session presented by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Shakey’s.
Abundo was accompanied to the same forum by Cesar Hagos of Olivarez College, Michael Lao of the Philippine Nautical Training College, Noraida Larosa of Rizal Technological University, Jun Quino of the National College of Business and Arts, basketball commissioner George Magsino, and volleyball commissioner Butch Montinola.
Nine schools will take part in the 12th edition of the collegiate tournament backed by Molten and Mikasa, with the host team PSBA Jaguars clashing with NCBA in the opener at 10 a.m.
De La Salle University-Dasmarinas takes on the Manuel L. Quezon University Stallions at 11:30 a.m. and defending champion Olivarez Colleges Sea Lions face the RTU Blue Thunder at 1 p.m.
In the last game, PNTC meets the Trinity University of Asia Stallions at 2:30 p.m.
Last year, the Sea Lions won the men’s cage crown by beating the La Salle-Dasmarinas Patriots, 103-101.
Titles will also be at stake in men’s and women’s volleyball, which will have its initial games on September 3 at the Olivarez College gymnasium in Sucat, Paranaque.