THE pace of inoculation of its student-athletes will be the key for the UAAP in staging Season 84 at the soonest possible time.
With the September opening still hanging in the balance, the league is cautiously optimistic of bringing back the competition that saw the second semester of Season 82 and the entire Season 83 upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By vaccinating the student-athletes, the league will give them a “peace of mind” to train and eventually compete for Season 84.
“We also vowed to come back stronger. Now we finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said UAAP Board of Trustees chairman Br. Ray Suplico, FSC of La Salle during yesterday’s maiden UAAP Talk Facebook show.
“Learning from their examples, with the careful planning, strict observance of science-based health and safety standards, and cooperation of all school officials, managers and participants, it is possible to bring back the UAAP while guaranteeing the utmost safety of our student-athletes and teams,” said Suplico.
UAAP Season 84 Board of Managing Directors president Nong Calanog of La Salle believes that the COVID-19 vaccines will be the game changer to make sure that the student-athletes will safely compete in Season 84.
“Technically the protocols as discussed at that time were approved at the CHED level already. But the vaccines only came in February. We were discussing with executive director (Rebo Saguisag) to get back to CHED and discuss with them changes to the protocols once the vaccines arrive,” said Calanog.
“We feel that the vaccines will probably be one of the things that will help us that the tournaments will be run in Season 84,” he added.
With the rollout of the vaccines, Saguisag is looking forward for the league to immediately return to play right after the student-athletes being able to return to practice.
“At the CHED level, approved na kami. With the rollout of the vaccines, it’s safe to say, I guess dadali. Ang tinitignan namin with the vaccines is not just the return to training but now the return of competition. With the vaccine rollout, mag-iiba yung premise mo e. Of course, nothing has been approved by the IATF but that is the game-changer,” said Saguisag.