The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) opened its 80th season by honoring the “greats” of each member school in the opening ceremonies on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Recognizing their contribution not just in the league but also for the country, the UAAP lauded10 former student-athlete stalwarts from eight schools whose pictures were placed on the “Wall of Greats,” which will be displayed in all UAAP schools.
Philippine Basketball Association star Terrence Romeo led the successful alumni of host Far Eastern University, along with volleyball figure Rachel Anne Daquis and Janelle Mae Frayna, the first chess player representing the country to become a Woman Grand Master.
“I felt proud. We’re happy that we were able to represent our school,” said the 25-year old Romeo, who is also a mainstay in the men’s national basketball team.
Ronnie Magsanoc, who played a crucial role in the University of the Philippines’ championship in 1986, was also listed as one of his alma mater’s achievers.
“It’s a great privilege to be a part of a selected few. All we want is to play and study, and eventually we got rewarded,” Magsanoc said.
“It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the school,” he added. Sen. Pia Cayetano and coaching great Joe Lipa also made it to the list of the Fighting Maroons’ former star players.
Volleyball champion Tricia Rodriguez of the University of the East, veteran coach Aric Del Rosario of the University of Sto. Tomas, Gilas Pilipinas’ standout Ray Parks Jr. of National University, football commissioner Rely San Agustin of the Ateneo De Manila University and basketball star Hector Calma of Adamson University were also honored.
National University (NU) gifted its debuting coach Jamike Jarin with a lopsided 86-69 win over University of the East (UE) in the 2 p.m. opening game.
The Bulldogs, relying on the best third quarter game of senior student Dave Yu, was too much for the Red Warriors throughout the game to get the opening game victory.
“It feels good that we’ve won the opening game, but there’s a lot to be improved. We’re happy with the win because my players played consistent in the entire game,” Jarin, who led San Beda College to last year’s
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title, told reporters.
Jarin joined NU last year after replacing former coach Eric Altamirano.
Yu, who was part of NU’s 2014 championship, scattered eight of his 14 points in third quarter plus eight rebounds, while Reggie Morido produced 12 points to lead the Bulldogs. Jay Jay Alejandro contributed 11 points, while Issa Gaye also had 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks also for NU.
“We just played good defense in the second half because we’re too sloppy in the first half,” said Yu.
Manuel Mosqueda’s two free throws pushed the Bulldogs to their biggest lead, 80-63, with only 4:13 remaining in the final period and they were never challenged since then by the Red Warriors who suffered a 0-1 start.
Alvin Pasaol led UE with 14 points but committed six turnovers.