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    UAAP bubble tilt possible but not until face-to-face classes resume, says Saguisag

    Nov 21, 2020

    IT's still no face-to-face classes, no games.

    It has always been the stance of the UAAP and it remains that way as the league stays in line with the government in relation to the hopeful resumption of competitions.

    "Gusto nating matuloy, but we also know na mas importante ang mga bata. Laging may nagtatanong sa akin kung kailan ang UAAP pero ang sagot ko, may pasok na ba?," UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag told Radyo5's Power and Play with Noli Eala on Saturday.

    The government is firm on its stance that until a vaccine becomes available to the general public, it's only then when face-to-face classes can resume.

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      It's already been a year since Ateneo was crowned men's basketball champion in UAAP Season 82, and since then, collegiate competitions have gone dormant.

      There's still no clarity on when things can return to normal and games to once again be allowed due to the continuing fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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      Saguisag admits that the "easiest and laziest way out is to scrap the season altogether," but the Board of Trustees (BOT) are looking at all measures to salvage what was supposed to be UAAP Season 83.

      "We continue to monitor international and national events and look at the data and the science, we continue to coordinate with the proper government agencies to still salvage the season more or less. Of course, the UAAP Board of Trustees has to pass a resolution, but for anything to happen between now and 2020, mukhang malabo na," he said.

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      All hope isn't lost, though, as Saguisag said that there are talks of holding competitions inside a bubble environment as early as April 2021.

      But for that to happen, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), as well as other agencies must first approve the resumption of collegiate trainings.

      "Kung ma-approve ang training, hopefully we start our trainings by January after the Christmas break. The teams will need two to three months to prepare and after Easter Sunday on April 4, hopefully if all goes well, we're looking at starting the season by April in a bubble scenario," he said.

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      Saguisag was also blunt in admitting that with such controlled situations, only limited sports can be played, among those being "flagship events" like men's basketball and women's volleyball.

      "We're all about equality in sports, kaya lang syempre with our partners, we also have to consider yung commercial side. Unfortunately, when you talk about that, talagang yung flagship events ang napag-uusapan. Yan ang mga tinitimbang namin," he said, with the UAAP just sealing a five-and-a-half year deal with Cignal TV as its new broadcast partner.

      Promising as those plans are, Saguisag reiterated that nothing remains final and conditions must obviously improve before a green light will be given.

      "Hindi pa sinasabing tuloy, pero yan ang pinagaaralan," he said.

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