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NCAA 99 to include third-place game, introduces separate awards for ‘rookies’, ‘freshmen’

As the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines approaches its centennial season, exciting changes are underway in the ongoing seniors basketball tournament.

Breaking away from tradition, the Grand Old League will now feature a battle for third game.

On December 10 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, eliminated Final Four teams Lyceum of the Philippines University and College of Saint Benilde will compete in a one-off match before Game Two of the championship series between Mapua University and San Beda University.

Tip-off time for the game is set for 10 a.m.

Previously, the third-place spot was determined by the loser of the 2-3 semis matchup.NCAA-98-Awarding-ROY-Cade-Flores NCAA 99 to include third-place game, introduces separate awards for 'rookies', 'freshmen' Basketball CSB CSJL LPU MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

In a significant move, the league will now have two distinct categories for “rookies” and “true freshmen.”

Unlike past seasons, where rookies included all newcomers to the league — even transferees, the new format aims to recognize the achievements of true freshmen separately.

For the past few seasons, no true freshman has won the award, with transferees from the UAAP dominating.NCAA-94-Awarding-Muyang-8959 NCAA 99 to include third-place game, introduces separate awards for 'rookies', 'freshmen' Basketball CSB CSJL LPU MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

Season 94 saw former La Salle big man Larry Muyang (Letran) clinching the award, followed by former UST center Justin Arana (Arellano), former UST winger Rhenz Abando (Letran), and former FEU big Cade Flores (Arellano) in subsequent seasons.

This season, ex-UE floor general Clint Escamis (Mapua) is anticipated to secure the award.

In addition, a new award for true freshmen will be introduced, with contenders like Peter Rosillo (Mapua), Nygel Gonzales (San Beda), and Stephen Garupil (Letran) leading the race.

However, both Rosillo and Gonzales faced ejections during the elimination round, disqualifying them from any post-season recognition.

#ReadMore  Jeric Teng's comeback dream finally turns to reality

The individual awards ceremony is scheduled for December 10 at 12 p.m.

Written By

Vito Martin is a sportswriter from the Philippines. In 2023, he graduated from the Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in BS Psychology. He wrote for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covered basketball, football, baseball, badminton, and other collegiate sports. He is a life-long fan of the Boston Celtics and an avid follower of the NBA

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