With a “Dare to Dream” theme, host University of Santo Tomas (UST) opens the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 today at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena in España, Manila.
The ballroom dance competition that is making its debut as a demonstration sport will happen at 2 p.m. at the historic Plaza Mayor, followed by the opening ceremony and concert at 5:30 p.m.
The other two demonstration sports this season are arnis and sepak takraw.
“It will be a very simple opening ceremonies this year. We thought we would try to start it differently. We thought of having the cheerdance to start the season. Ballroom dancing was added to the opening ceremony to make things more interesting and appealing,” said UAAP Season 79 President Fr. Ermito de Sagon.
Athletes from UST, Adamson University, University of the Philippines (UP), De La Salle University, Ateneo De Manila University, University of the East, National University and Far Eastern University, will be treated to the Thomasian Welcome Walk.
Meanwhile, the men’s and women’s basketball action begins tomorrow as UP battles Adamson University in the 2 p.m. opening game at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Fighting Maroons under new coach Bo Perasol aim to surpass their 3-11 win-loss record finish last year.
“That’s the only goal, surpass last year’s three wins,” said Perasol. “I believe that’s doable. As a team, we are cohesive as a unit but the question is how cohesive the other schools are? We just have to keep playing.”
The UP men’s basketball team is composed of Jett Manuel, Paul Desiderio, Dave Moralde, Diego Dario, Kyles Lao, Andrew Harris and Henry Asilum.
Former La Salle coach Franz Pumaren will be making his debut as Adamson University coach this season.
Last season’s finalist UST will battle Ateneo in the second game at 4 p.m.
In women’s basketball, the Lady Maroons and the Lady Falcons will collide at 8 a.m., to be followed by the Tigresses versus Lady Eagles match at 10 a.m.
JOSEF T. RAMOS