Determined to resume action amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NCAA is keen to start its 96th season by the first week of May.
NCAA Management Committee Chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, OP of Letran said as much Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast, optimistic despite the challenges brought about by the health crisis.
“Definitely we’ll push through,” the amiable athletics director told the weekly session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corporation, Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
Already a lock in the upcoming season are online events such as chess and taekwondo, including poomsae.
“We have chess kasi online naman ‘yun eh. Taekwondo, we have poomsae and speed kicking — this is in coordination with the Philippine Taekwondo Association. They really volunteered their resources para rito.”
Basketball and volleyball competitions, meanwhile, have yet to receive clearance from authorities to play through the abbreviated season.
The Grand Old League is awaiting word from agencies such as the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), the Department of Education (DepEd), and most importantly the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
Basketball and volleyball may be limited to skills-based events. The former, for instance, may hold skills challenge apparently similar to what FIBA held last year to under-17 national teams, and a slam dunk contest.
“And possibly — kung papayagan; online din naman pero merong mga restrictions ngayon eh, ‘yung IATF and of course CHED and other agencies — volleyball and basketball,” said Calvo.
Aside from the aforementioned sports, Calvo said that there has also been a proposal to hold beach volleyball following the successful staging of the PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup in Subic a few weeks ago.
“In fact, there is a proposal for the beach volleyball na naganap sa Subic last time successfully, so we are considering that also.
“Pero for sure, at least dalawa or apat na hybrid and online competition ‘yung hinahanda ng NCAA na medyo sigurado,” he added. “Of course ‘yung chess at taekwondo sigurado na ‘yun, nakakasa na ‘yun.”
Calvo said that the league is really looking to push through with Season 96 for the sake of student-athletes, no matter how tough the times have been.
“Hindi naman tayo naggi-give up because NCAA embodies the Filipino resiliency and perseverance, lalong lalo na sa sports na mas mahirap gawin,” he said.
“Sabi nga namin we have to show the entire nation na kahit gaano kahirap, gawin natin ‘to for the sake of our student-athletes na buhay na buhay. Lalong lalo na, we’re preparing also for, ilang taon na lang, 100 years na.”