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