THE OLDEST collegiate athletic association in the country may find its way back to its roots in time for a century milestone.

In an announcement yesterday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) said it is considering staging games at the iconic Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC) for the highly-anticipated 100th season starting on Sept. 7.

“It’s always good to go back where you started from. So most probably we will consider that as well for some games,” said athletic director Herc Callanta of NCAA Season 100 host Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU), during the turnover hosting ceremony from Jose Rizal University.

The RMC, located inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, served as home of the NCAA for many decades since its construction in 1934, 10 years after the NCAA was born and became the country’s first collegiate association.

The NCAA, with growing fanbase and membership, went on to transition to bigger and more modern venues like the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena and the Filoil EcoOil Centre (formerly San Juan Sports Arena) starting in 2004.

But with the RMC — declared as a National Historic Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines — now very much alive and bustling after its renovation in 2019 for the country’s Southeast Asian Games hosting, games and spectators have found their way back home.

The PBA, the UAAP, MPBL, Shakey’s Super League and the PNVF as well as international tournaments have already been staged at the RMC. And the NCAA could be next.

With limited capacity of the RMC though, NCAA will push through with its grand opener at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena but the league’s possible homecoming is in the works to make the historic 100th season the best ever. “In all humility, I am honored to be accepting this exciting responsibility of hosting Season 100 of the NCAA. As you all know, LPU is the youngest member of the NCAA, so we will be looking up to our kuyas for support, inspiration, and advice,” said Lyceum of president Atty. Robert P. Laurel after receiving the hosting torch from Season 99 host JRU led by its President Vincent Fabella.

“We promise to all of you that we will make Season 100 like no other,” he added with the presence of other NCAA officials in vice president Dr. Dodjie Maestrecampo (Mapua), treasurer Fr. Aloysius Maranan (San Beda), and secretary Fr. Rafael Pecson (San Sebastian). — John Bryan Ulanday