LA Salle is bracing for tumultuous waters as it is handed the steering wheel for the next UAAP season.
"We have to move ahead and we face very challenging times for Season 83, we have to do so with courage and fortitude because many challenges are ahead of us," said incoming UAAP Board of Trustees (BOT) chair Bro. Raymundo Suplido, FSC of La Salle.
Season 82 host Ateneo, through outgoing BOT chair Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, formally turned over the hosting to the Taft campus, giving the UAAP flag to Suplido in the virtual closing ceremony on Saturday.
It served as one final toast for the season that was as a number of second semester sports have been scrapped due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was hard fought and very challenging, but congratulations to the coaches, to the teams, to their managers and supporters, and also to our host Ateneo who hosted Season 82, and of course, the Board of Managing Directors," said Suplido.
UAAP's future, though, is facing one of its toughest tests in the league's eight-decade existence.
The Board of Managing Directors (BMD) has penciled the competitions for the next season to resume by the first quarter of 2021, dependent on the progress of the country's fight in containing the virus.
Adding to the concerns which La Salle will face will be the UAAP's broadcast situation following the expiration of its five-year partnership deal with ABS-CBN and the subsequent denial of the TV network's new franchise in the Congress.
Suplido, however, expressed confidence that whatever hindrances may be ahead, the UAAP will be able to pull through.
"We have to move ahead for we face very challenging times for Season 83. We have to do so with courage and fortitude because many challenges are ahead of us," he said.
"For the love of sports, we have to go and challenge ourselves in order to continue to excel. It's important we do so with resilience and courage and fortitude. These are what we need: We must plan and play, but with safety and prudence in our minds so that we do not risk the health and safety of our members."
Suplido also bared that La Salle's hosting of UAAP Season 83 will have the motto, "Fully Alive, Champions for Life."