Quezon City, Philippines – Expect fireworks as Letran finally gets the chance to defend its title while San Beda seeks to regain the crown it lost last year as they collide in an action-packed match kicking off the 92nd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the MOA Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila and which will be aired on ABS-CBN Sports + Action and streamed live via TFC.tv on June 25, worldwide (June 24 Pacific time).
NCAA president and San Beda rector-president Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ma. Maranan, Saint Benedict (OSB), yesterday said the season, which will showcase the courage, unity, and fighting heart of NCAA’s community of student-athletes, will be formally ushered in with a performance to remember at the opening ceremonies with emphasis on the theme “Sports Builds Character: Achieving Breakthrough @Season ‘92.”
“We’re expecting a very exciting NCAA season not just in basketball but in all our sports as well,” said Maranan in the press conference at the Coral Hallway of the MOA Arena, Pasay City that was also attended by presidents, owners and rectors of all 10 participating schools and top officials of ABS-CBN Sports, which is committed to help promote sports especially to the Filipino youth.
This is the second season since NCAA signed a 10-year partnership with ABS-CBN that paved the way for the return of the country’s oldest collegiate league to the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment company last year.
Before the tip-off, the league will also retire the No. 14 jersey number the late great Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga wore during his San Beda days in the 50s. NCAA Management Committee chair Jose Mari Lacson said the family of Loyzaga, known as the “The Big Difference” and considered the best basketball player this country has produced, including son Chito. will be present to witness the historic event.
“Caloy Loyzaga has made not just San Beda and NCAA but also the whole Philippines proud so it’s about time we return what he had done by honoring him with this,” said Lacson.
Loyzaga, who passed away early this year, won a pair of championships with San Beda in 1951 and 1952, helped the country win gold medals twice in the FIBA-Asia Championship (1960 and 1963) and four times in the Asian Games (1951, 1954, 1958 and 1962) and a bronze in the FIBA Worlds in 1954 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, which remains unmatched to this day.
The NCAA’s signature passion-fueled and high-octane hardcourt action unfolds with erstwhile finalists Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights and San Beda College Red Lions battling each other first, followed by the showdown between Mapua Cardinals and Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, which completed the Final Four cast last season.
Games will be shown on ABS-CBN Sports + Action with halftime features that show the other side and highlights the journey of NCAA’s sports heroes. Coverage panel features Season ‘91 holdovers including anchors Anton Roxas, Andrei Felix, and Boom Labrusca, analysts Migs Bustos, Martin Antonio, Mikee Reyes, and Olsen Racela, with courtside reporters Ceej Tantengco, Roxanne Montealegre, and Myrtle Sarrosa. Joining them this season are Martin Javier, Renren Ritualo, and Sarah Carlos.
The Arena in San Juan City, Metro Manila will host majority of the elimination round games with the marquee matches set at the MOA Arena.
Catch the opening salvo of NCAA Season 92 this Saturday, June 25 worldwide (Sunday, June 24 Pacific time) on ABS-CBN Sports + Action starting with the NCAA opening ceremony, followed by the NCAA Season ‘92 Primer, and the double-header featuring Letran versus San Beda, and Mapua versus Jose Rizal University. You may also catch all these via livestreaming on TFC.tv
For more information about ABS-CBN Sports + Action and the NCAA, visit TFC’s facebook pages all over the world.