League’s first-ever female deputy commissioner to help oversee basketball tournaments
The University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) will have a new event for its 82nd Season.
For the first time in league history, a Girls’ Basketball tournament will be held together with the Boys’ Basketball Tournament as a demonstration sport.
The tournament is being eyed to begin on either October 26 or 27 according to event sub-host National University.
“It’s long overdue for the UAAP to have a basketball tournament for the girls,” said UAAP Executive Director Rebo Saguisag, who started his first professional venture in basketball as coach of Assumption High School’s basketball team back in the 2000s.
Schools that have committed to join the four-team meet are Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle-Zobel, University of Santo Tomas, and Adamson University.
The league is hoping that the rest of the member schools develop their Girls Basketball program as well so that the student-athletes’ transition from juniors to the collegiate game will be seamless.
“This is very important for the development of our women’s players. Schools want to recruit girls out of high school who are already fundamentally sound,” said Ateneo’s Representative to the Board Erika Dy, who coached the Ateneo Lady Eagles from 2013-2015.
“Without a Girls’ Division, there is not much interest from young dreamers to begin with at that level.”
Besides this, the league is hoping that having this tournament will help the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in identifying the top young prospects for the country’s Girls’ National Team.
“Having a Girls’ Division is consistent with the UAAP’s mission to provide a training ground for our future national athletes. As much as the college teams will benefit from this, it’s really our Gilas Women’s Team that will reap fruits from it in the future,” shared Dy, who played for De La Salle-Zobel in high school.
“It’s a big step forward for women’s basketball. In the ASEAN region, we really need the exposure sa women’s side,” added UAAP Basketball Commissioner Jensen Ilagan.
Helping Ilagan oversee not just the Girls’ Basketball event but all four UAAP basketball tournaments is the league’s first-ever female Deputy Commissioner in Ms. Edith Boticario.
Boticario, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Wellness from University of Makati, is a FIBA-licensed official and a former PBA referee.
“This is a testament to the league’s commitment to inclusiveness,” said Saguisag.