MANILA – A showdown between Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of the Philippines (UP) will be the main attraction of the opening day festivities in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament on March 26 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
In an advisory Thursday, the league’s media bureau said the Blue Eagles, the defending champions in the event, and the Fighting Maroons, who had the most highlighted roster buildup during the long offseason, will clash in the third game of a scheduled quadruple-header at 4 p.m.
Formally opening the UAAP’s 84th season, the first since the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic washed out the remainder of Season 82 and the entire Season 83, is a 10 a.m. showdown between Far Eastern University (FEU) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
At 1 p.m., Adamson battles National University, while in the nightcap at 7 p.m., the De La Salle University (DLSU) takes on the University of the East.
As if it was a throwback to the league’s older seasons, the entire first round will be played in seven four-game play dates due to Season 84 being a short season to give the eight-member schools ample time to gear up for Season 85, which is scheduled to begin in September as per league’s traditions.
Games will be played every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for the first round.
Meanwhile, the La Salle-Ateneo rivalry will get some primetime treatment this season as for the first time ever, the Green Archers and the Blue Eagles will be playing at nighttime, being the fourth game of Matchday 4 festivities on April 2 at 7 p.m.
The rematch of the Season 82 finals between Ateneo and UST will happen as per tradition on the final day of the first round on April 9, but it will be the third game of the quadruple-header scheduled for that day at 4 p.m. with the game between UP and FEU being the final game of the first round at 7 p.m.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, all the games will be held behind closed doors, but the UAAP said that it might welcome fans again if the Covid-19 situation in Pasay and the entire Metro Manila continues to improve. (PNA)