While NCAA is ready to open its unique 96th season on June 13 with only chess and taekwondo on a virtual platform, the collegiate league is still looking to include flagship sports—basketball and volleyball.

/ 2 June 2021

Hindi kumpleto pag walang basketball at volleyball. Hinahanapan pa rin natin ng butas,” National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Management Committee (Mancom) chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, OP of hosts Letran, told Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, Tuesday. 

In fact, the NCAA has been waiting for approval on the clearances that relevant government agencies, led by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), will consider them to hold at least two more events, basketball and volleyball.

For now, the NCAA only holds virtual, skills-based competitions such as dribbling and shooting which are set only in the boundaries of the player’s homes. 

But the oldest collegiate league believes that with the help of the vaccines it will be soon enough that the most anticipated sports of the country will be played once again in the league. 

Sabi nga nila, pag may vaccine na, game-changer. Tingin ko matutuloy din kasi CHED talaga ang pinaka-crucial. Nagwo-work hand-in-hand ang mga agency,” said Calvo.

Though Season 97 is slated for September and traditional competitions’ events remain with no definite schedule, the officials reiterate that the league’s calendar remains flexible for whatever may happen. 

Yung schedule namin is flowing,” said Mancom member Peter Cayco of Arellano.

“We’re just waiting for the go signal. Pag naka-start na kami, the prudent thing is we adjust [the start of Season 97.] Kung mag-open ang Season 97 at tsaka kami mabigyan ng go signal, we’ll play the basketball competitions sa Season 97. Madali na yan once makakuha kami ng permiso. We can plot it very well,” he continued. 

“Flexible yan. Kung mag-decide ang Mancom at Policy Board na pwede ipasok ang basketball [this Season 96], we can always have the next season by January,” Calvo added.

With or without the country’s flagship sports, the NCAA’s priority is to show how they are determined to fight against this pandemic as the season will carry the theme “Rise Up Stronger.”

“Flexible tayo dahil nasa new normal tayo. It’s a new situation so ine-emphasize ko lagi yung resiliency, na kailangan mag-adjust tayo. Iba na ngayon, we need to have a paradigm shift when it comes to sports. Nagawa na namin sa chess at taekwondo. Madali nang gawin para sa iba,” Calvo expressed.

Importante sa amin na may season kahit na maiksi lang.”