DE La Salle and University of Santo Tomas face off to highlight the opening day of the 76th season of the UAAP men's basketball tournament on June 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Green Archers, one of the teams expected to put up a strong showing this season, and last year's runners-up Tigers take to the floor in the day's main game at 4 p.m., according to the schedule approved by the league during its regular board meeting on Thursday.
Far Eastern University and University of the East square off in the first game at 2 p.m. after the traditional opening ceremony that in the past has become an event in itself.
Meanwhile, five-time defending champion Ateneo open its campaign against National University the next day, June 30, and face fierce archrival De La Salle for the first time this season on July 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tickets for the Ateneo-La Salle match will be sold separately from the playdate's first game set 11 a.m. between University of the Philippines and FEU.
Meanwhile, last season’s finalists Ateneo and UST will square off in the final day of the eliminations on July 28 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in another marquee match-up.
In the first round, nine playdates will be played at the MOA Arena, while five will be held at The Big Dome.
The second round will begin on August 14 after the league takes a break to give way to the country’s hosting of the Fiba-Asia championship to be played August 1 to 11 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Meanwhile, UAAP secretary treasurer Malou Isip said Joaquin ‘Chito’ Loyzaga has been formally appointed the league's new commissioner on Wednesday, replacing Ato Badolato.
Loyzaga, a former PBA star who spent his best years with Robert Jaworski’s Ginebra squad in the eighties and nineties, was a former commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission before assuming the post.
He was also a former commissioner of the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).
The complete first-round schedule is as follows (First game and second game at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., unless stated):
June 29 (MOA Arena) – FEU vs. UE; DLSU vs. UST
June 30 (MOA Arena)—Adamson vs. UP; Ateneo vs. NU
July 3 (MOA Arena) – UP vs. DLSU; FEU vs. Ateneo
July 6 (Araneta Coliseum) – NU vs. UE; UST vs. Adamson
July 7 (MOA Arena) – UP vs. FEU (11 a.m.); Ateneo vs. DLSU (3:30 p.m.)
July 10 (Araneta Coliseum) – UE vs. Adamson; NU vs. UST
July 13 (MOA Arena) – UST vs. UE; DLSU vs. FEU
July 14 (MOA Arena) – NU vs. UP; Adamson vs. Ateneo
July 17 (MOA Arena) – Ateneo vs. UE; FEU vs. NU
July 20 (MOA Arena) – UE vs. DLSU; NU vs. Adamson
July 21 (MOA Arena) – UP vs. Ateneo; UST vs. FEU
July 24 (Araneta Coliseum) – UP vs. UST; Adamson vs. DLSU
July 27 (Araneta Coliseum) – UE vs. UP; DLSU vs. NU
July 30 (Araneta Coliseum) – FEU vs. Adamson; Ateneo vs. UST