Disheartened by the UAAP Season 83 cancellation, UAAP men’s basketball coaches honored the league's Board of Trustees’ resolution in view of the pandemic.

/ 13 December 2020

After pulling the plug for Season 82 last March and pushing the Season 83 that was supposed to start last September, the league put another collegiate season block for student-athletes suspending the next UAAP season to happen next athletic calendar year.

With the alternative plan of holding a bubble concept limited only to the league’s centerpiece games such as men’s basketball and women’s volleyball in April 2021. The league dismissed the deliberation towards the resumption of the Season 2020-21 academic year, scrapping the entire season due to the health and safety protocols of the government.

Although it has been a tough call for the league, coaches from different UAAP schools understood the screeching halt.

“The highest governing body of the UAAP has already decided. I have no doubt that they only have the best interest and safety of everyone in mind when they made this decision,” Bo Perasol, University of the Philippines (UP) coach said.

Be in the same mind with the league, Adamson mentor Franz Pumaren expressed that the safety of the players, the school officials, and everyone involved is the most important thing.   

Another reason for the league to dissert the UAAP Season 83 was the continuing online classes which are one of the major requirements—face to face classes—in the reopening of the colligate and non-professional competitions.

University of the East (UE) coach Jack Santiago keeps his awareness of the situation and securing the safety of the players is the top priority, “If the Board thinks that canceling Season 83 is the best way to keep our players safe, then I support their decision 100 percent,” he expressed.

“I’ve always been on the side of caution, and if we cannot assure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, media, and staff in opening the season, why force it? One infected person is one too many at this time of uncertainty,” Perasol added.

Still, no further clarification is disclosed as to the league’s plans for the seniors and eligibility of the players.

“I also think about the graduating players,” Santiago mentioned. “Season 83 was supposed to be their last year to show what they got.”

“I hope the Board also considers adjusting the age limit next season and allow the graduating players to play their last year. If we look at it now, most of the semi-pro leagues also got canceled, so the platform for these players to showcase their talent is really lacking. I hope they can consider because yung mga bata, hindi naman nila ginusto na magkaroon ng pandemic and mag-cancel ng events and yung senior year is very crucial when it comes to making a name for themselves para maka-transition sa pro.” Far Eastern University (FEU) coach Olsen Racela said.

In light of the positive outcome following the cancellation, Racela expressed his hopes of getting back to normal tournaments as to what it was before.

“This pandemic has already affected so many lives and we continue to pray that it finally ends so that we can return to enjoying all that has been put on hold, including collegiate basketball,” he said.

Coaches are looking forward to more clarity on the new guidelines drafted by The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Guaranteed that they will discuss the implication of the cancellation with the UAAP members.