IN a season like no other, the NCAA opens its 96th edition on June 13 with chess and taekwondo events holding hostilities online.
“Alam mo naman ‘yung situation natin, it calls for creativity,” said NCAA Management Committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum last Tuesday.
“Sa iba, sumusuko na, pero sa amin, we’ll make sure na ito ang pinakamagandang opening namin,” he added.
Originally scheduled to open last August, Season 96 was shelved due to COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the league to create ways to savage the season.
After 10 months of waiting, the NCAA is ready to stage tournaments which is very much different from its usual fare.
While everything is all set for online chess and taekwondo (poomsae and speed kicking), the NCAA is still waiting for approval to hold at least two more events: the skills challenges in basketball and volleyball.
The opening ceremony, which will carry this season’s theme “Rise Up Stronger, will be a “hybrid,” according to Calvo.
“It’s a combination of online, but for us na vaccinated na, we will make an appearance doon sa opening,” Calvo said.
Games will be shown starting the following day, where the matches and performances online chess and taekwondo were previously recorded.
“But sa presentation, it’s as if we’re doing it live kasi merong commentators, analysis, lalo na sa chess,” said Calvo.
This season will definitely the shortest in the rich history of the league, but Calvo promises to be a memorable one even without its usual events to be played under normal times.
“We pledge the fans not only of the NCAA but of Philippine sports that we’re really doing our best to showcase the spirit of competition, especially during this pandemic.” (Theodore P. Jurado)