NATIONAL athletes take center stage when the UAAP Season 82 opens on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Student-athletes from all member schools who are set to represent the country in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will lead the traditional oath of sportsmanship.
"The thing we are doing differently this year is just like back in Season 74, there won’t be a basketball game after the opening ceremony," said UAAP president Em Fernandez of hosts Ateneo. "It’s because we want to make sure that we celebrate all our student-athletes first before they compete."
"We want this to be the pep rally for all the student-athletes of the UAAP."
Ateneo will be represented by Jarvey Gayoso (football), Jessie Lacuna (swimming), Francis Agojo and Pauline Lopez (taekwondo), and Maxine Esteban and Jaime Viceo (fencing).
Adamson University will have Joyme Sequita (track and field), Bryan Castillo and Steven Manaig (baseball), Arianne Vallestero, Ezra Jalandoni, Angela Gabriel, Mary Joy Maguad, and Nicole Padasas (softball).
Representing De La Salle University are Darylle Lumahan (fencing), Nicole Albo (badminton), Irish Navaja, Sara Castaneda, Chelo Hodges, Rocelle Mendano, and Alisha Del Campo (football), Raphael Mella, Patrick Perez, and Rinna Babanto (poomsae), Arvin Herrera, Diego Lozano, and Iggy Escano (baseball), and Julius Diaz (softball).
Far Eastern University will have Jelly Paragile and Joida Gagnao (track and field), Shania Mendoza and Darry Bernardo (chess), Clare Castro (basketball), Mary Lam, Pocholo Bugas, and John Saldivar (football).
For National University, Jack Animam (basketball) will be joined by Ricky Marcos and Joshua Retimar (volleyball), and Kurt Barbosa and Nick Garces (taekwondo).
Fencers Samantha Catantan, Queen Dalmacio, Mickyle Bustos, Nicole Cortey, Shawn Felipe, Reynaldo Perez, and Christian Concepcion will represent University of the East, while Judokas John Ferrer, Gabriel Salazar, and Zarchic Garay compose the University of the Philippines contingent.
Dither Tablan, Chino Sy, Czar Bayas, Khrizzie Pabulayan, Sydney Sy, Juan Pingot (judo), Ann Antolihao, CJ Roa, and Celestine Palma (softball) are set to represent University of Santo Tomas.
Aside from the national athletes, all varsity players competing in this season will be present for the parade.
The league will also unveil this year’s theme song, “Ang Ating Tagumpay” together with artists Itchyworms, Sponge Cola, December Avenue, Autotelic, and IV of Spades.