Wouldn’t it be nice to have a season wherein the champions of different collegiate leagues of all sporting events would battle it out to see who’s indeed the best? A unifying avenue wherein top four finalists will emerge and in the end, one will be heralded as the national champions? I mean, why not, since as mentioned in my column repeatedly, the quality of sports competition in the country just keeps getting better and better. To have a program like this would be a great addition to Philippine sports.
The closest thing to this was the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL), which showcased the best basketball teams of the country. Teams from different leagues like NAASCU, NCAA South, CESAFI, BEAL, NOPSSCEA, NCAA and UAAP were invited to participate in this tournament. Unfortunately however, the organizers of the league have decided to cancel the 2016-2017 season.
What I envision is that the same events would run at the same time so by the time the collegiate leagues would be done with their own championships, they would be obligated to participate in the national championships. It would be the perfect time to do so as it would take place right after their collegiate leagues as if it’s still part of their season. The teams would not need to worry about other teams scouting their plays, talents and techniques. The coaches need not worry about pre-season peaking as well. It’s something like the NBA, how the teams from the East and West would have their own conferences and then eventually would enter in the play-offs to know who’s the best of the best.
Just do it, nothing is impossible
Some may think that a national championship of sorts would be too difficult to organize since it would mean shifting and syncing season calendars and bringing in old foes to sit in one table. I believe that it is time to unite with a common goal in mind for the best interest of Philippine sports. I myself thought that this initiative is too difficult to achieve since for example, the NCAA and UAAP are divided and still is divided for some reason. But I guess having a national championship would pretty much bring out the innate competitive spirit of the schools and would push each other in producing the best athletes in the country.
This avenue for collegiate teams would do good not only for sports itself but also for the schools participating. If we think about it, on the business side, it would be a good marketing campaign for colleges and universities nationwide. Also, it will inspire aspiring collegiate athletes to become the No.1 recruit out of high school or college.
At the end of the day, and if we look at the bigger picture, this initiative could be the best source of future national athletes for the Philippines. This could be a part of an effort in building a solid grassroots program for Filipino athletes. Just for indoor volleyball alone, most of the members on the national training pool for the 2017 SEA Games are student-athletes. So what better way to breed Filipino athletes but to start them while they’re young?