by Patricia Blessy Gonzales
The NCAA Season 91 hosted by Mapúa Institute of Technology centered on this season’s theme, NCAA: Engineered for Sports Excellence in the New Decade. The celebration, marked as the beginning of a decade before NCAA’s 100th year, started with a splendid ceremony and amazing festivities last Saturday, June 27 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Representatives of all schools in NCAA gathered for their exhibitions to show the school spirit and dances.
An impressive dance routine performed by dancers from the Lyceum University ushered in the beginning of the basketball wars in the oldest collegiate sporting league in the country. The fiery dance number also featured gigantic mascots that symbolized each of the participating schools.
The NCAA Management Committee, promoting the spirit of comradeship and camaraderie amongst the various teams through friendly competition, opened the ceremony with a short message stating that all student athletes must be developed to their full potential. The committee also stands by the hope tocontinue serving the country by producing athletes who may go on to become members of the Philippine contingent to international games such as the recently-held SEA Games.
Former two-time NCAA MVP from the Mapua Cardinals and a legendary four-time MVP in the Philippine Basketball Association, Mr. Alvin Patrimonio addressed the crowd and shared some words of wisdom for the athletes who were set to show their skills and talents: “Let me remind you, talent is not enough. May formula ako for that. Great talent plus bad attitude equal to an average team. Great talent plus an average attitude, you’ll just be a good team. But great talent plus a good attitude will result to a great team.” Patrimonio also commended the NCAA for making a comeback to the Kapamilya Network, ABS-CBN, this season. At the end of his speech, he added: Mabuhay ang atletang Pilipino at mabuhay ang NCAA!
Mapua’s Team Captain Josan Nimes then led the athletes to their declaration of the Oath of Sportsmanship.
Led by the team captain, Jamil Ortouste, the San Sebastian Golden Stags stood looking composed and ready. Also standing proud and regal on a long, flaming red gown beside Ortouste was the gorgeous and elegant Ms. Mit Wane Maryce Veluz who joined the athletes as this year’s SSC-R Manila representative to Miss NCAA Season 91.
During this year’s NCCA Opening, Rev. Fr. Nemesio D. Tolentin, OAR, the President of San Sebastian College – Recoletos joined for the first time as SSC-R Manila’s new Policy Board Representative; while Atty. Reynold S. Munsayac, former Athletics Director continue to serve as the school’s representative to the Management Committee.