FOUR schools are set to take part in the inaugural UAAP girls' basketball tournament, with the event serving as a demonstration sport for Season 82.
Ateneo, La Salle-Zobel, University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University have all committed to join the tournament which will see girls in the high school level wage war in the hardcourt.
"It's long overdue for the UAAP to have a basketball tournament for the girls," said UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag.
The event is expected to start in October, according to sub-host National University.
"This is very important for the development of our women's players. Schools want to recruit girls out of high school who are already fundamentally sound," said Ateneo's representative to the Board Erika Dy, who served as the head coach of the Ateneo Lady Eagles from 2013 to 2015. "Without a Girls' Division, there is not much interest from young dreamers to begin with at that level."
"It's a big step forward for women's basketball. In the Asean region, we really need the exposure sa women's side," added UAAP basketball commissioner Jensen Ilagan.
Former PBA referee and Fiba-licensed official Edith Botecario has also been tapped as this season's deputy commissioner, helping Ilagan not only for the girls' division, but for all four basketball tournaments.
"This is a testament to the league's commitment to inclusiveness," said Saguisag.