UAAP to honor athletes in closing rites

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    THEY have no choice but to cool their heels some more.

    That’s because UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag is tempering expectations on the possible return to practice of teams in the midst of the lethal COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Might provide a glimmer of hope,” Saguisag told Malaya-Business Insight, referring to the IATF-EID’s nod for the PBA and PFL teams to resume training.

    “But there is still a whale of a difference between professional sports and intercollegiate athletics,” he added.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has given pro basketball and football the green light to get back to training last July 3, but amateur and semi-pro leagues were not included in the go-signal.

    Metro Manila and most parts of the country have been placed under the less strict general community quarantine last June 1 but recreational basketball games, however, remain prohibited.

    Due to the health risks and uncertainties brought about by COVID-19, the league is eyeing to launch its 83rd season, set to be hosted by La Salle, early next year.

    Saguisag maintained the health and safety of the UAAP community remain as top priorities.

    “Our athletes are students, and in some cases even minors,” explained Saguisag, son of veteran human rights stalwart and former senator Rene.

    The 82nd season was cut short last April at the start of the government-imposed lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

    Among the sports that were scrapped were the much-awaited women’s volleyball tourney, football, baseball, softball, athletics, lawn tennis, and 3×3 basketball.

    To fittingly fete the league’s athletes, a virtual closing ceremony will be held on July 25.

    Apart from the closing ceremonies, the UAAP will also award the general championships to University of Santo Tomas in both the seniors’ and juniors’ division.