With both men’s and women’s basketball in the spotlight for UAAP Season 86, you can expect to make the most out of all the league’s basketball action for the next few months.
Every new UAAP Season, players come in and leave all their efforts on the court, not only fighting for the coveted championship, but also fighting for a chance to stand out, as these players represent the future of Philippine basketball. UAAP Season 86’s theme, Fueling the Future, rings true for these talented athletes, and this upcoming season will bring new changes to this iconic tournament that showcase growth in the game.
Broadcasting plays a big role in the UAAP’s growth this season. While the men’s basketball tournament is arguably the most-watched event in the entire league, this year, the women will also receive the attention they deserve, as the women’s basketball tournament will be broadcast live on TV and on UAAP’s streaming services.
In the UAAP Press Conference held on Wednesday, September 27, the women’s basketball coaches and players were included in the media conference for the first time, where they were able to share their excitement for the upcoming season alongside the men’s representatives.
This marks another step in pushing the country’s talent forward, with a whole lot more to look forward to in the coming months. Amidst all the anticipation, here’s what you can expect for the UAAP Season 86 Basketball Tournament for both the men’s and women’s divisions.
“Starting this season, we will be airing even more basketball games. Aside from men’s basketball, Cignal TV is committed to airing the women’s basketball games as well through Pilipinas Live,” Cignal TV’s AVP for Channels and Content, Head of Channel Management and Programming, Rissa Guilas proudly shared.
This announcement, which was met with resounding applause from the coaches, players, and media attendees at the UAAP Season 86 Press Conference, feels like a long time coming, given the vibrant basketball culture in the Philippines. Now, Filipino sports fans will be able to tune into every senior UAAP basketball game for Season 86, which not only drives a bigger audience for the women’s game, but also pushes the game forward for coaches and players alike.
“Representation in women’s sports is super important and super key, not just for the on-court action, especially in women’s basketball where there are a lot of good games,” UAAP Season 86 Deputy Commissioner, Atty. Mariana Lopa expressed. Lopa herself is another symbol of representation, as she becomes just the second woman to hold this position in the history of the UAAP.
“Because in the Philippines, since we don’t have a pro basketball league, UAAP is the premier basketball league for women. Also off the court, these girls have really compelling storylines.”
Now that women’s basketball will be getting the attention it duly deserves, this side of the sport may see a meteoric rise. With a bigger spotlight on the game, players will get the opportunity to watch the games themselves, study their opponents, and play in front of a bigger crowd, all of which contribute to the development of the future talents of the sport.
This alone makes the basketball tournament of UAAP Season 86 easily the biggest one yet. But, there is still a lot more to look forward to.
The anticipation for the men’s UAAP basketball tournament remains high as we head into Season 86. Last year was highlighted by many exciting stories, the most compelling of which was the finals showdown between the Fighting Maroons and the Blue Eagles. While many still expect these two teams to be strong contenders in the tournament, this season, a lot has changed.
A number of players whom we’ve come to know in the past years will not be playing in Season 86. Some key figures have moved on from UAAP, such as Blue Eagles Dave Ildefonso and Ange Kouame. However, there will be a fresh crop of new faces coming into the competition as rookies.
Speaking about his young squad, Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin said, “We have a lot of young players and it’s going to be an exciting thing for the players and the alumni, not so much for the coaches, but we’ll get there. There’s a lot of hard work going in.”
The changes are not limited to the players, either. There are new faces in the coaching staff as well, such as Topex Robinson, who is the new coach of De La Salle University, Pido Jarencio, the new coach of the University of Santo Tomas, and Dennis Miranda, leading the Far Eastern University
As a new coach for one of the most high-profile teams in the UAAP, Topex Robinson shared his sentiments going into the new season: “They (the DLSU players) spoke to me and told me about the responsibility. The good thing about it is it’s a collective responsibility. It’s not just going to be with one player, not only going to be with one coach but with everybody. The order is tall, we’re happy to have that kind of responsibility this season.”
Because of all these new changes, predicting the outcomes this season may come as a challenge, but one thing you can expect is that with all the shake-ups in every team, we will definitely be in for another exciting season.
The excitement does not end there, as Cignal TV made yet another huge announcement for all UAAP fans out there, both local and abroad.
As the official broadcaster for UAAP, Cignal TV will be bringing all the sporting action to fans all over the world through its streaming service, Pilipinas Live. And to kick off UAAP Season officially, their team has worked hard to make this service available not just to the local fans, but to all fans of the league anywhere in the world.
MediaQuest and Cignal TV President and CEO Jane Jimenez Basas shared, “We are proud to introduce Pilipinas Live to the rest of the world. UAAP Season 86 will be at the forefront of our programming, allowing Filipino fans anywhere they may be, to experience the excitement of watching collegiate sports, like never before. With Pilipinas Live, we are committed to enhancing the fan experience and making UAAP more accessible to a wider audience internationally.”
On top of catching all the in-game action, especially for basketball which kicks off on September 30, fans who subscribe to Pilipinas Live will also get to enjoy behind-the-scenes footage, pre- and post-game interviews, and a unique fan stream view that lets you see student-athletes from a new point of view.
Indeed, Season 86’s excitement is like no other. There is a lot of action that you simply can’t miss, but luckily for all the fans out there, it will no longer be difficult to tune in, no matter where you are.
Are you ready for UAAP’s return?
Images from UAAP Media.