By Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan
Amid the heavy rains, the 74th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines officially opened Saturday at the Marikina Sports Complex.
Sporting umbrellas matching their school colors, athletes from different schools braved the rains to participate in the ceremonies, which host school Ateneo de Manila University patterned after the Olympic Games.
Retired professional basketball player and Ateneo alumnus Olsen Racela lit the torch, a symbol for the opening of the new UAAP season themed “All out, all heart.” Meanwhile, Kirk Long of the Ateneo Blue Eagles led the Oath of Sportsmanship.
“These games are more than just games,” said Ateneo president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, explaining that the games are also a matter of heart.
Over 12,000 delegates, composed of students, athletes, alumni and fans gathered in the event.
After the fireworks display, several bands, including Spongecola, Itchyworms and Kjwan, performed in a free concert staged after the ceremonies.
UAAP Season 74 Men’s Basketball Game Schedule