THE UNIVERSITY Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) ushers in its second straight season this year on October 1, hoping to swing back to a full calendar after a compressed edition last time out.
The full list of events is yet to be announced later this month but hopes are high for the UAAP — with Cignal TV as official broadcast partner — to pull off a complete comeback this Season 85 after staging only eight events in Season 84.
“Our student-athletes have been waiting for their moment, some yet to return to the playing field since 2019. Together with Cignal, we are hoping and praying that we are allowed to have the full calendar back this season,” said UAAP Season 85 president Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM of host Adamson University.
For the centerpiece basketball event, the UAAP has appointed former Alaska Aces governor and current PBA 3×3 chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann as commissioner.
Mr. Bachmann, who played for La Salle before transitioning to an amiable executive, will serve until Season 86 to ensure continuous learning development for the UAAP pool of referees that’s already in the selection process.
“It’s like going full circle, starting out as a player to an assistant coach then, later on, team manager and team governor and now to a commissioner, I’m really blessed and grateful for this opportunity. And the UAAP was the place it all started for me, that’s what excites me the most,” said Mr. Bachmann.
“My main task is improving the officiating of the league, a one-year term on any commissioner is not enough. There should be continuity through training and they also need to call some games outside of the UAAP which will also be supervised by us,” he added.
Last March, the UAAP came back from a two-year hiatus albeit for limited events in men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s 3×3 hoops, men’s and women’s chess, poomsae and men’s beach volleyball plus the mid-season spectacle cheerdance competition.
It was held from March to June with University of the Philippines and National U making history in the anticipated men’s basketball and women’s volleyball events, respectively.
UP ended its 36-year UAAP title drought over three-time champion Ateneo while NU blanked La Salle to complete a 16-0 sweep for its first title in 65 years. Santo Tomas was named the general for the fifth straight season.
This time with only four months of break, the UAAP dives back into action with far more noble cause than just the return of a full-swing calendar with a theme of “Rise as One”.
“After the last UAAP Season made us Fully Alive and created Champions for Life, UAAP Season 85 is hoping to call the entire community to Rise As One,” beamed Fr. Suan.
“It’s been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic happened and has yet to end. Together, we are looking to rise as a nation, helping build a better future for a brighter tomorrow,” he added. — John Bryan Ulanday