CENTRO Escolar University is fancied to repeat as men’s basketball champion when the 15th season of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAASCU) opens shop this Friday at the Astrodome.
The reigning title holder are expected to parade the core of the Café France team that won the last PBA D-League Foundation Cup crown at the expense of Hapee, making the Scorpions the consensus team to beat in the eight-school field.
Aside from CEU, other member schools of the so-called ‘Third League’ are host New Era University, St. Clare College of Caloocan, Fatima University, Diliman College, City University of Pasay, Philippine Christian University, and Rizal Technological University.
League chairman Dr. Jay Adalem of St. Clare said games for this season will finally be shown on primetime over IBC-13 through coveror Asian Television Content (ATC), which was represented by Engr. Rey Sanchez in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.
“It’s the chance of NAASCU to be in the spotlight now with our games being shown on primetime. Masking naman yung UAAP and NCAA, wala ring coverage ang mga yan nung nag start,” said Adalem in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Sanchez said games will be aired from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. every Monday and Thursday.
The reigning champion Scorpions set off their title retention bid on opening day when they battle the host team Hunters in the 10 a.m. first game.
The PCU Dolphins face the CUP Eagles in the second match.
The Ms. NAASCU will also be crowned during the opener of the season which has ‘Education Through Sports’ as its theme and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Narvasa as guest speaker.
Adalem sees the St. Clare Saints, Fatima Phoenix, Diliman Senators, and the Dolphins as the likely teams expected to crowd out the Scorpions for the crown.
Other than basketball, other sports included in the league’s calendar of events include volleyball, taekwondo, track and field, beach handball, arnis, duathlon, table tennis, and cheerleading.