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UAAP’s diamond season opens at the MOA Arena

(July 17)— Athletes from the University of the Philippines (UP) paraded on stage along with the delegates from seven other universities during the opening ceremonies of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines’ (UAAP) diamond season on July 14 at the Mall of Asia Arena (MOA Arena).

 The brief parade signified 75 years of solidarity of the UAAP’s eight participating universities, namely, UP, Adamson University (AdU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), Far Eastern University (FEU), National University, University of the East (UE) and University of Sto. Tomas (UST).

With the theme Unbreakable at 75, the event was graced by Fidel V. Ramos, former Philippine President and NU alumnus, who cheerfully re-enacted his famous ‘victory jump’ during the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Also present were the presidents and officials of the eight participating universities including UP President Alfredo E. Pascual, UPD Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma and CHK dean Prof. Ronualdo U. Dizer.

(From left) UP officials Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma,
President Alfredo E. Pascual and College of Human
Kinetics dean Prof. Ronualdo U. Dizer at the UAAP
Season 75 opening ceremonies on July 14 at the
MOA Arena

This season’s opening ceremonies, hosted by NU, showcased spectacular fireworks display and a light show.  In addition, more than a thousand spectators at the MOA Arena witnessed the highly-energized performances of the eight participating universities’ official drummers and cheerdance squads including the UP Pep Squad, UAAP Season 74’s Cheerdance Competition champions.

The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the makeshift diamond structure with colorful lighting effects to symbolize the league’s 75 years of promoting youth development through college sports.

Cheerdance squads from the UAAP’s eight
participating universities wearing reflectorized
costumes and shades during their performance at
the opening ceremonies.(Photos courtesy of Bong
Arboleda of the UP System Information Office.)

Plaques of appreciation were also given to the UAAP Board of Trustees members Dr. Leilani Gonzalo, former UP College of Human Kinetics dean, and DLSU’s Noel A. Buenaventura during the ceremony.

Bobby Ray Parks Jr., NU Bulldogs star and reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player, led the oath of sportsmanship.

After the event, the UAAP men’s seniors division basketball tournament commenced with NU Bulldogs pitted against UE Red Warriors on the first game, and FEU Tamaraws versus UST Growling Tigers on the second game. —H.C.P