University of the Philippines (UP) will formally turnover the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 hosting rights to University of Santo Tomas (UST) in a simple ceremony today at the UP Bahay ng Alumni in Diliman, Quezon City.
The program will start at 5 p.m. as outgoing Season 78 president Dr. Michael Tan of UP will hand the UAAP flag to incoming Season 79 president Fr. Ermito de Sagun of UST.
Besides the turnover rites, the UAAP management committee will announce the Season 78 Athlete of the Year.
Table tennis star Ian Lariba of De La Salle University, chess master Janelle Mae Frayna of Far Eastern University and swimmer Hannah Dato of Ateneo de Manila University are the leading candidates for the top honors.
Lariba steered the Lady Archers to their second-straight championship crown.
She also made a history by being the first Filipino qualifier in the Olympic Games table tennis event.
Lariba earned her Olympic berth by finishing 11th place in the 2016 International Table Tennis Federation-Asia Olympic Games Qualification Tournament held in April in Hong Kong.
The other candidates for the Athlete of the Year are three-time women’s volleyball Most Valuable Player (MVP) Alyssa Valdez and men’s basketball MVP Kiefer Ravena of Ateneo as well as other MVPs Afril Bernardino of National University (women’s basketball), Marck Jesus Espejo of Ateneo (men’s volleyball), Ysrael Wilson Marasigan of Ateneo (men’s beach volleyball), Kim Fajardo of La Salle (women’s beach volleyball), Daniel Gadia of UP (men’s football), Molly Manalansan of UP (women’s football), Julius Diaz of UST (baseball), Queeny Sabobo of Adamson University (softball), Peter Magnaye of NU (men’s badminton), Paola Bernardo of UP (women’s badminton), Walden Ledesma of La Salle (men’s table tennis), Joaquin Mendoza of UST (men’s tae kwon do), Karen Celis of University of the East (women’s tae kwon do), Monch Santiago of Ateneo (men’s judo) and Jessie Lacuna of Ateneo (men’s swimming).
EMIL C. NOGUERA