The University Athletic Association of the Philippines celebrated its return to a pre-pandemic setup with a glamorous Season 86 live opening ceremony at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Hosted by University of the East President Dr. Zosimo Battad, who is also the UAAP Board of Trustees president for this season, the opening remarks emphasized the significance of this event, marking the commencement of another chapter for the student-athletes.
Dr. Battad stated, “The purpose of this gathering is much-anticipated because it provides a colossal stage where many of the best Filipino athletes can showcase their talents and abilities.”
UE Vice Chairman David Chua was also present and expressed the school’s gratitude for hosting the country’s premier collegiate league for the 10th time, saying, “We are truly blessed to witness the full on-site conduct of Season 86 of the UAAP on behalf of everyone at the University of the East. This marks the 10th time in UE’s history that we are hosting the UAAP.”
In line with the season’s theme, “Fueling the Future,” the homegrown talents of the Red Warriors showcased their passion through a modern ballet performance titled “Panunumbalik sa Sinimulan,” choreographed by Gener Caringal.
The 20-minute opening spectacle featured the participation of the UE Silanganan Dance Troupe, UE Pep Squad, UE Drama Company, and the UE Men’s Volleyball team.
Abdul Sawat, the captain of the UE Men’s Basketball team, led the oath of sportsmanship, with all eight member-schools represented by 12 student-athletes each.
Later in the day, UE and the University of Santo Tomas would open the Men’s Basketball Tournament at 2 p.m., while Ateneo De Manila University and National University would collide at 4 p.m.