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NCAA eyes ‘school-based bubble’ for Season 96

Though the National Collegiate Athletic Association is maintaining its stance of ‘no vaccine, no play’, it is also working on a unique bubble concept if it is allowed to begin NCAA Season 96 in 2021.

According to NCAA President Fr. Vic Calvo, OP of Letran, the Grand Old League is looking at a school-based bubble wherein schools near each other will have meets of their own.

“Because of the budget constraint, puwedeng school-based. Sa Intramuros, magkalapit ‘yung Mapua, Lyceum, at Letran. ‘Yung classrooms bakante at ‘yung Lyceum may hotel. ‘Yung court dalawa. So puwedeng gawin dun. For example, sa San Beda, Arellano, EAC, at San Sebastian, magkakalapit ‘yan,” Fr. Calvo explained on Power & Play, Saturday morning.

“Pwede ring school-based siya at apply natin dun ‘yung bubble principle. More or less, ganun ‘yung idea.”

This is a unique concept since each school will host a certain event.

For example, for Intramuros, classrooms from Mapua can house the student-athletes while Lyceum’s hotel will house the officials. Games can then take place in Mapua’s gym.

Benilde also has a new hotel and a new gym.

On the other hand, the league has formed another committee to look into online events.

“Sa ngayon ang confirmed ay chess tapos depende pa sa study ng committee,” said Fr. Calvo.

Besides the online events and basketball, the 96-year-old league is set on playing out its four mandatory events — namely basketball, athletics, swimming, and volleyball.

“‘Yung swimming at track and field, walang problem dun. We are also contemplating ‘yung SEA Games model, everything in just two to three weeks,” said Calvo.

“‘Yung safety ng student-athletes ang aming priority.”

Season 96 will be a test run for NCAA and its new TV partner GMA. As of the league’s management committee’s meeting last Friday, they are looking at an April 2021 start.

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