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NCAA eyes third quarter start for Season 97

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has its sights set on either August or September for the possible opening date of Season 97.

That is according to no less than Management Committee (ManCom) chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, OP. The Grand Old League has decided to brave the challenging times caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mga late August, or September,” the Season 96 president told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast, Tuesday.

Given such a timeframe, it is possible that Season 97 could take place shortly after Season 96, which commences on June 13.

But it could also open on January, said Calvo, depending on whether the league receive the authorities’ approval in playing basketball and volleyball — two of the most-watched events in college sports — this year.

So far, only professional and national athletes have permission from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to practice. Collegiate and amateur players, meanwhile, remain waiting for the government’s go-signal to play.

“Kung ma-decide ng ManCom sa policy board na pwedeng i-pasok ‘yung basketball ngayong season, we can always have the next season by January,” said Calvo, who’s also the athletics director of Letran.

ManCom member Peter Cayco of Arellano University — who also guested in the session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., MILO Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR — seconded Calvo.

“Yung schedule namin, it’s kinda flowing. We’re waiting for the go signal,” he said. “‘Pag naka-tart na kami at inabutan siya ng Season 97, I think the prudent thing to do is adjust the opening of Season 97.

Kung mag-open ang Season 97 at tsaka kami nabigyan ng go signal, eh ‘di Season 97 namin ilalaro. Free-flowing na ‘yan, madali na lang. Once nakakuha kami ng permiso, I think we can plot it very well. No problem there.”

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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