By Waylon Galvez
Staging skills challenge events in basketball and volleyball are to be tackled soon by NCAA Management Committee (MANCOM) after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) issued its latest resolution on sports activities.
The oldest collegiate league in the country will start its Season 96 Sunday, June 13, and action in online taekwondo (poomsae) will kick things off for the NCAA.
Also to be featured is online chess, although the NCAA has approved ‘hybrid’ events in basketball and volleyball that would feature the individual skills of athletes on different challenges.
NCAA MANCOM chairman Fr. Vic Calvo of Season 96 host Letran College said the latest on the IATF-EID is a welcome development since they are just waiting for the approval of these ‘hybrid’ events.
“That’s the topic yesterday (Thursday during the MANCOM meeting), the skills challenge. We have a small opening here,” said Calvo during an online press briefing organized by new broadcast partner GMA-7.
“But we have to work with the policy board here. We have to be flexible on what’s allowed (by the government) day-to-day. There is a glimmer of hope,” added Calvo, also the athletic director of the Knights.
Calvo also mentioned that participating athletes, coaches and officials might be required to have vaccines, which the league has procured with the help of GMA-7, for safety purposes.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA refused to cancel Season 96 as it continued to find ways to resume with the games. With the help of new partner GMA-7, which inked a deal until 2026, the league proved it’s resilient despite the situation.
Letran’s Fr. Clarence Marquez, president of the NCAA Policy Board, said that this season’s theme of “Rise Up Stronger” is a manifestation of a Filipino character of not giving up despite the struggles in life.
Also present during the online media presser MANCOM members Peter Cayco of Arellano University, Atty. Jonas Florentino Cabochan of San Beda, Paul Supan of Jose Rizal University, Dax Castellano of St. Benilde, Fr. Glynn Ortega, Melchor Divina of Mapua, Francisco Gusi, Jr. of Perpetual Help, Estefanio Boquiron, Jr. of Emilio Aguinaldo College, and Hercules Callanta of Lyceum.