NCRAA NCRAA officials Benjamin Hernandez, Mary Grace Demetillo, Buddy Encarnado, Hazel Mea, Ted Cada, and Chloe Mamon attend the PSA Forum.

ICC opens NCRAA title defense

March 1, 2024 Robert Andaya 252 views

DEFENDING champion Immaculada Concepcion Colleges opens its title defense against Asian Institute of Maritime Studies when the 30th NCRAA basketball championships gets underway on Friday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Gametime is 3 p.m.

Other opening-day games will pit University of Luzon and La Salle Dasmarinas at 9 a.m.. and St. Dominic College of Asia against Bestlink College of the Philippines at 1 p.m.

The tournament will formally kick off with an elaborate opening ceremony, with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Richard Bachmann and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Erika Dy in attendance.

Dy will be the honorary speaker during the 11 a.m. opening ceremony.

NCRAA General Manager Buddy Encarnado said the three-decade league is looking to strengthen its partnership with the country’s governing body for basketball as an avenue of discovering new local talent.

“We want to make sure that we have better options, that the basketball industry and NCRAA continue to do our best to discover, if I may emphasized homegrown talent, so we can now truly say we can contribute to the Gilas Pilipinas program,” said Encarnado, a former PBA chairman and team governor of Sta. Lucia.

“Basically, we want to become a vibrant partner of SBP. We want to ensure that we develop new faces, discover talent from far-flung places. I go around and try to see if there will be some students who can take advantage of the scholarships that schools are offering and at the same time, give life to their dream to become a basketball star,” Encarnado added, while emphasizing the league’s no-foreign player policy.

Encarnado attended the recent PSA Forum held at the Rizal Sports Complex, along with NCRAA president and Professor Mary Grace Demetillo (St. Dominic College of Asia), Benjamin Hernandez (PATTS College of Aeronautics), Hazel Mea (Lyceum University of the Philippines-Laguna), Engr. Ted Cada (AIMS), and Chloe Mamon (Immaculada Concepcion Colleges).