MANILA -- Las Piñas-based Perpetual Help will host the 87th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) set to kick off on July 2, the league announced on Saturday.

On that same day, basketball season unfurls with defending champion San Beda battling the hosts and last year's runner up San Sebastian tackling a newly-look Jose Rizal at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

This year's theme would be "Brazen @87."

"We're up to the challenge and fully accept the hosting and with the full support and cooperation of all the members we're expecting another success this year,” said NCAA president Anthony Tamayo, who took over the spot from Fr. Anthony Morillo of last year's host San Sebastian.

Management Committee's Mike del Mundo also announced that cheerleading has been upgraded to a regular sport, which means the results there would reflect in the computation of the overall champion.

Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano University--now one year away from being regular members--will have more responsibility in terms of hosting as they would be given assignments in some sports.

The league is also considering Lyceum, which has been knocking on league doors for years, to become its 10th member this year.

Other NCAA members include College of St. Benilde, Mapua Institute of Technology and Letran College.(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)