By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
SEASON 82 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines kicks off on Sept. 4 with triple-header play dates one of its distinct features.
Happening every Wednesdays, the men’s basketball tournament will have midweek matches played at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Venues are the Smart Araneta Coliseum, SM Mall of Asia Arena, and Ynares Center Antipolo.
Done to accommodate the 30th Southeast Asian Games which the country is hosting later this year, the scheduling tweak is a departure from the two-match hump day offering of the UAAP, which had been in effect for the longest time.
The same goes for the women’s side, with 8:00 a.m. games set to be held simultaneously in two different venues with another game played at 10 a.m.
Venues are the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavilion, Araneta Coliseum, MOA Arena, and Ynares Center.
Weekend matches on Saturdays and Sundays will still be double-headers as per the official first-round schedule released last week.
The first scheduled triple-header happens on opening day, Sept. 4, at the Big Dome, itself a departure from the usual weekend kickoff of the season.
Playing on said date are the UST Growling Tigers and the University of the East Red Warriors at 10 a.m. followed by the Far Eastern University Tamaraws against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons at 12:30 p,m., and the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles versus the Adamson Soaring Falcons at 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, rivals Ateneo and De La Salle University Green Archers will have an early joust for Season 82 with the teams facing off on opening week on Sept. 8, Sunday, at 4 p.m.
Playing on opening week as well are the National University Bulldogs against Adamson and UP versus UST on Sept. 7, and UE against FEU on Sept. 8.
The “Battle of Katipunan” finals rematch between the Eagles and the Fighting Maroons takes places on the final play date of the first round on Sept. 29.
UP will take on Adamson, its Final Four opponent in Season 81, on Sept. 15 while Ateneo versus FEU, semifinal foes last year, happens on Sept. 14.
La Salle takes on UST, handled by former coach Aldin Ayo, on Sept. 28.
España rivals UST and FEU collide on Sept. 22 while FEU jousts with La Salle on Sept. 18.
The final weekend of the opening round will also see Adamson take on UST on Sept. 28 and NU versus UE on Sept. 29.
Ateneo is the host for UAAP Season 82.