The 79th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Football Tournament tips off with a triple-header at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on February 4.
A total of eight squads in the Men’s Division and five teams in the Women’s Division will be vying to bring home the coveted collegiate football crown.
This year, reigning champions University of the Philippines (UP) will be jumpstarting their bid to defend their title with a heated match-up against De La Salle University in the main match of the Men’s Division at 4 p.m.
UP proved their dominance in last season’s competition after sealing the top seed in the elimination round with a record of nine wins, three draws and two losses.
They success of the Fighting Maroons continued as they blanked University of Santo Tomas (UST), 3-0, in their semifinals meeting before edging Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), 4-1, in the championship.
On the other hand, the Green Archers sealed their berth to the knockout phase last year after taking the second spot at the end of the eliminations with a 9-2-3 win-draw-loss card.
However, their dreams of completing their ascent to the finals were halted by rivals Ateneo in a nail-biting shootout, where the latter won 5-4 on penalties.
Consequently, the bout between University of the East and National University will be opening the hostilities of the opening day of the tourney at 2 p.m.
Also, the anticipated finals game between the De La Salle Zobel Junior Archers and the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws will be capping off the day with a championship clash at 6 p.m.
The Women’s Division of this year’s UAAP Football Tournament will be opening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on February 11.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES