The 12th season of National Collegiate Athletic Association (MNCAA) with the theme “One Team, One Spirit, One Victory” is set to open on Saturday, 9 a.m., at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Pasay City.
“Like it maybe a minor league, we are still very happy to be part of nurturing it to grow in to a really strong league and one that will continue to conform to the aims of an athletic league,” said Ma. Cristina Padolina, president of Centro Escolar University (CEU) during a press conference on Wednesday at CEU Manila.
“We are pleased to host the season and we continue to aspire as the other colleges and universities aspire to be the champion,” added Padolina whose school, CEU, is hosting MNCAA for the third time.
MNCAA member schools are CEU, Chiang Kai Shek College, Philippine Women’s University (PWU), San Beda College Alabang (SBCA), University of Asia & the Pacific (UA&P), La Salle College Antipolo (LSCA) and Enderun Colleges Inc. (ECI).
Among the featured sports are basketball, volleyball, futsal, table tennis and badminton. A street dance competition will also be presented this season.
The MNCAA is an exclusive athletic association for men unlike its direct counterpart, the Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA) that plays in an all-women format.
The older WNCAA was founded in 1970 and now on its 46th season with 16 participating colleges and universities while MNCAA was created in 2004 with seven member schools.
Besides gender exclusivity, WNCAA has an additional sporting events namely swimming, taekwondo, softball and cheerleading competition.
In planning to add more events and schools in his term, MNCAA president Rene Ledesma said that they are open for school applications but applicants will be subjected to strict documentation compliance.
“On the pipeline we are open to adding more schools and considering other games. Just like in the WNCAA, we introduce the poomsae [taekwondo forms competition]. Perhaps next year, we can also introduce that game along with taekwondo, swimming and tennis.”
“Plans are plans. Plans are great. The reality of it is everything is really subject to the availability of resources,” said Ledesma.
Opening games will be a basketball match between defending MNCAA champion CEU against ECI followed by SBCA versus PWU and UA&P against LSCA on the third match up.
Succeeding games is scheduled every Sunday and will be played within member schools.
“We still go for academic excellence even if our athletes are playing we saw to it that the games are on Sunday’s. We are following a home-and-away pattern so we can bring the games to other schools,” said MNCAA executive director Vivian Manila.
Games of futsal, badminton and table tennis will start on January 2016.