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University of Batangas (UB) held the opening ceremony of the National Collegiate Athletic Association - South (NCAA-S) Season 24 at the Carmelo Q. Quizon Gymnasium, Feb. 24, 2023.
This event's commencement was initially dated last November 2022, however, due to the COVID-19 health restrictions, it has been delayed for three months, which were maximized for continuous preparation for the ceremony and construction of sports facilities to make their very first hosting after 13 years a memorable one.
In addition, this season themed as "We Rise, Stride and Play as One" was spearheaded by the UB Sports Development Office (SDO) led by Sports Director, Mr. Christopher V. Quizon, who was supported by the University President, Dr. Hernando B. Perez.
“Well, I'm very excited and happy that everybody is here, despite the declaration ng holiday, last minute declaration. I’m very happy na everybody’s present. Kumpleto ang policy board ng 11 schools, kumpleto ang ManComm ng 11 schools. That’s the first time na nangyari, usually kasi substitute na ang dumadating, ngayon kumpleto, everybody’s here,” said Mr. Quizon.
Meanwhile, the Culture, Arts and Publications (CArP) Office prepared the presentation videos of the 11 participating schools from the South, showcasing their respective sports teams, department heads, and facilities where their homegrown athletes have been training for the past months in preparation for the anticipated comeback of onsite NCAA-S matches.
On the other hand, guest speakers, Lewis Alfred "LA" Tenorio, Point Guard of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and Ms. Cherry Ann "Sisi" Rondina, Beach Volleyball Player of Creamline Cool Smashers, emphasized in their speeches the value of being a humble and goal-driven student-athlete.
"Ang ganda at ang saya ulit na makalaro ulit kayo, ‘yung mga athletes dito sa South, kasi s’yempre as a player gusto talaga nating maglaro talaga and it’s a way of expressing our kapaguran. Kumbaga ‘yun ‘yung kasiyahan natin na maglaro, pampawala ng stress. And I'm wishing na successful ‘yung magiging outcome nitong NCAA-South,” shared Ms. Rondina.
“Lahat kayong mga athletes, ‘yun lang ang gusto kong sabihin sa inyo na, you know, katulad nang sinabi kanina ni sir, playing a sport is not all about winning. Ako, masasabi ko sa sarili ko at this point of my career, with all my achievements and everything, nasa punto na ako na playing the sport is not all about winning, it’s about being an inspiration to others,” advised Mr. Tenorio on his speech
In their maroon and gold attire, the UB Brahmans Pep Squad came back to the mat after a 10-year hiatus with their dance routines and stunts that awed the crowd.
Moreover, the audience applauded the performances of the UB Junior High School’s (UB-JHS) bench cheers and the UB Dance Company's five-minute ice breaker.
Lastly, the players from different schools pledged in an oath taking their fair play, compliance and respect to the rules and regulations all throughout the season. This was followed by the virtual lighting of the torch and announcement of the formal opening of NCAA-S 24 led by Atty. Jesus V. Mayo, UB Board of Regents - Chairman and NCAA-S Policy Board Chairman.
Text : Ana Nina Perea & Leonora Joy Fabonan (The Westernian Advocate)