THE Eastern Visayas Collegiate Athletic Association (Evcaa) announced Friday, January 11, that the opening of the first season of the region’s inter-collegiate basketball tournament will be on January 25 at the Tacloban City Convention Center (Astrodome).
“Eight of the 10 State Colleges and Universities (SUCs) in the region will be joining the upcoming tournament,” Evcaa's tournament commissioner Julius Ross Lacaba said.
The participating SUCs are Eastern Samar State University, Eastern Visayas State University, Leyte Normal University, Naval State University, Northwest Samar State University, Samar State University, University of Eastern Philippines, and Visayas State University.
Presidents and representatives of the eight SUCs signed the memorandum of agreement on January 11 at the EVSU Graduate School campus in Tacloban.
“The game will start with the West teams. EVSU versus LNU, and NSU versus VSU,” Lacaba said.
Lacaba said the creation of the independent athletic association is patterned around the concept and structure of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletics Association, two of the premier collegiate athletic association in the country.
“Evcaa aims to be the premiere Collegiate Athletic Association in the region and will conduct yearly sports tournaments as well as capacity building of in-house coaches supported by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the basketball governing body authorized by the country and sanctioned by the International Basketball Federation,” Lacaba said.
He also acknowledged the support of Tingog Sinirangan party-list and Leyte First District Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez for sponsoring the first season of the college basketball games.
“We know that sports is another form of intelligence. Believing that student-athletes have a lot to offer, we have created this opportunity for them to not only showcase but further develop their talents,” said Jude Acidre, the second nominee of Tingog Sinirangan.
Acidre said that aside from supporting the basketball tournament, they are not also closing the option to sponsor women’s basketball and volleyball.
Jude Duarte, president of Leyte Normal University in Tacloban, hoped that the student-players in the region “will have good reasons to stay” with the opening of Evcaa’s college basketball.
“If we have federalism right now, we might as well trickle down basketball. Meaning, regionalize it, not centralized in imperial Manila. We need to come up with good basketball teams so people in Eastern Visayas who plays in Cebu and Manila will stay, and together we will level up the standard of sports in the region,” Duarte said earlier.
However, Duarte said that more incentives, scholarships, and exposure to tournaments are important for the players to be enticed to join in the school rather than playing outside.
The university will get better players if it has a good sports program, Duarte added. (SunStar Philippines)