KOBE Paras will be at the forefront of the battle as he carries the flag of University of the Philippines in the UAAP Last One Standing 1-on-1 Hoop Challenge Friday at SM Mall of Asia Atrium.
This will be the 20-year-old's first time to represent the Fighting Maroons as he is the hands-down favorite to rule the men's division.
But the field remains formidable and Paras will have his hands full before taking home the throne.
Ivan Maata of Adamson, Quinito Banzon of Ateneo, Jordan Bartlett of La Salle, Cade Flores of FEU, Robert Minerva of NU, Zach Huang of UST, and Jason Strait of UE will all make their case for the title.
Lady Bulldog Ria Nabalan, meanwhile, is seen as the woman to beat in the women's division.
Lady Falcon Nathalie Prado, Lady Eagle Jhazmin Joson, Lady Archer Rossini Briana Espinas, Lady Tamaraw Princess Soraya Jumuad, Tigress Elondra Rivera, Lady Warrior Cristine Cortizano, and Lady Maroon Noella Cruz are also joining the competitions.
Aside from the 1-on-1 battles, the UAAP will also stage other events in the action-packed one-day tournament.
Paras will once again take the spotlight in the Slam Dunk Competition as the two-time Fiba Under-18 3x3 Dunk Champion stakes his case among the league's best high-flyers.
Maata, Ateneo's Matthew Daves, La Salle's Tyrus Hill, FEU's Aaron Beau Davis, NU's Daniel Chatman III, and UST's Soulemane Chabi Yo and Rhenz Abando will challenge Paras for his crown.
Adamson's Jerrick Ahanmisi also leads the cast in the men's Three-Point Shootout as he'll be challenged by Ateneo's Jolo Mendoza, La Salle's Aaron Waban, FEU's Travis Mantua, NU's Miguel Oczon, UST's Ken Zamora, UE's Jan Sobrevega, and UP's Alain Jethro Madrigal.
In the women's side, it will be Adamson's Jamie Alcoy, Ateneo's Angel Gino-gino, La Salle's Ana Alicia Katrina Castillo, FEU's Elaisa Crisa Adriano, NU's Je-Anne Camelo, UE's Princess Diane Pedregosa, UP's Mikee Gatpatan, and UST's Ana Mae Tacatac.
It will also be an open race to the title in the Skills Challenge, with the men's trophy being contested among Adamson's Jerom Lastimosa, Ateneo's Nathan Chan, La Salle's Donn Spencer Lim, FEU's James Tempra, NU's Daniel Atienza, UE's Carl Bryan Lacap, UP's Enzo Battad, and UST's Brent Paraiso.
The women's hardware, on the other hand, will be disputed between Adamson's Lady Rose Rosario, Ateneo's Alyssa Villamor, La Salle's Camille Claro, FEU's Valerie Mae Mamaril, NU's Monique del Carmen, UE's Jacquelyn Dianne Strachan, UP's Gene Amar, and UST's Juslyne Eunice Magat.