Games Friday
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
9 a.m. — Mapua vs AU
11 a.m. — UPHSD vs LPU
1 p.m. — Opening Ceremonies
2:30 p.m. — JRU vs Letran
4:30 p.m. — San Beda vs SSC-R
6:30 p.m. — CSB vs EAC

COLEGIO de San Juan de Letran aims to replicate its magical championship run a year ago minus its former beacon of hope Andy Gemau as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99 junior basketball unfurls tomorrow at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

With the talented, slam-dunking Mr. Gemau, the Squires smashed the College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills Junior Blazers in a quick, merciless two-game finals sweep to capture the former’s first crown in more than two decades and 13th in all.

Mr. Gemau though wouldn’t be around for the Dominican school’s title-repeat bid as he failed to honor on his earlier pronouncement that he would stay and instead suited up for Veritas Academy National Prep in the United States to pursue his US NCAA Division I dream.

Nonetheless, Letran should remain willful and determined to snare a back-to-back as it opens its campaign against Jose Rizal University (JRU) at 2:30 p.m., one of the heavy five-game schedule in the inaugurals. The season will be officially launched with a simple opening ceremony at 1 p.m. to be attended by league officials led by NCAA Management Committee Chair Paul Supan of Season 99 host JRU. And then it will be San Beda University versus San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) at 4:30 p.m. and CSB-LSGH against Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) at 6:30 p.m.

Opening up hostilities is the 9 a.m. clash between Mapua University and Arellano University and the 11 a.m. showdown between University of Perpetual Help (UPHSD) and Arellano (AU) .

After the opener, games will be regularly played during Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays using a single-round elimination format. — Joey Villar