MAPUA, a school with a proud tradition in sports, has admitted entertaining thoughts of a move to the UAAP amid mounting frustrations over the state of affairs of the NCAA.
Marco Yuchengco Santos, director of basketball operations of the school that produced the likes of Alvin Patrimonio, Atoy Co, Charlie Badion, Emil Achacoso, Simeon Toribio, Eugene Torre, Miguel White, Freddie Hubalde, Henry Dagmil, Leo Isaac, and Joel Banal, among others, said the NCAA’s lack of media exposure is hurting the its image as the oldest school association in the country.
They Said It!
“If these problems persist, (the NCAA) will not actually die. NCAA will just get old and grey and boring." Mapua director of basketball operations Marco Yuchengco Santos
Consequently, member schools are also having the hard time attracting potential talent, he added.
“What’s lacking now essentially is a media company or a channel which will actually invest in the NCAA,” stressed Santos, grandson of school owner former ambassador Alfredo Yuchengco.
The Mapua executive said the lack of exposure partly lies on the failure of its official television coveror to air the NCAA games on an accessible channel last season.
See video of full interview:
“First of all we should have (television) replays. Number two, there must be some way of re-engineering the media program (of the NCAA) so we can command more fans and make it more exciting to watch the games live,” said Santos.
As official of one of the country’s top schools for engineering, Santos was vocal in saying he was not happy with the way Sports5 handled the airing of NCAA games.
“No, no. Last year, no. No replay, no nothing.”
It doesn’t help that the games were shown on channel that is not accessible to televiewers.
“It’s (channel) 59 eh. It’s so far. It’s not free air. You cannot get mass support. Right now, I am asking our athletic director to fight for it (better channel),” Santos said. “I really believe we deserve better.”
“I think it could have been better. I am not blaming Channel 5, but there are factors.”
This is where the UAAP had the bigger advantage to the NCAA, according to Santos as he compared the two premier college leagues in the country.
“It’s one reason why UAAP teams get the best players now. It’s because UAAP gives a better exposure, it’s more glamorous, and yes (media mileage) is a big factor,” he said.
In this regard, Santos said he’s not discounting the possibility of Mapua becoming a UAAP member school in the future.
“Actually, what about Mapua joining the UAAP? That’s not impossible. Yes, I am contemplating on it already. One day,” he insisted.
But it’s not only the television coverage of the league which needs to be addressed, according to the official of the school which won the most number of general championships in the 89-year history of the NCAA with a total of 29, including 21 in the seniors division and eight in juniors.
Santos said the NCAA’s 10-team field has obviously dragged the season so long that a revision in its format is in order.
The venues of the games also need to be improved, he added.
“If these problems persist, it (NCAA) will not actually die. NCAA will just get old and grey and boring,” the Ateneo-educated school official said.
“Here’s what will happen: Schools will not take NCAA seriously, therefore they will not compete the way they should compete, because they have nothing to gain from it.
“If NCAA won’t do anything, maybe we can move to the UAAP,” he added.
This developed as a source from the Commission on Higher Education told Spin.ph the application of Mapua to become a university school is already being processed.
A decision will be handed down within the next two to three years, added the source, who refused to be identified as he’s not in the position to speak about the matter.