NCAA-South opens Saturday

MANILA, Philippines - Defending champion Don Bosco Technical College and host school San Pablo Colleges meet in a lone basketball match kicking off the NCAA-South 11th season at the SPC gym in San Pablo, Batangas on Saturday.

A heavy five-game bill follows the inaugurals on Aug. 31 with six teams debuting in seniors play and four teams starting their campaigns in juniors action.

The second play date is also slated at the SPC gym with Lyceum-Batangas tangling with FAITH-Tanauan at 8:30 a.m., San Beda-Alabang tackling La Salle-Lipa at 11:30 a.m. and PCU-Dasmariñas taking on Perpetual-Biñan at 2:30 p.m.

High school matches pit San Beda-Alabang versus La Salle-Lipa at 11 a.m. and PCU-Dasmariñas against Perpetual-Biñan at 1 p.m.

Don Bosco, SPC, Lyceum-Batangas, FAITH-Tanauan, San Beda-Alabang, La Salle-Lipa, PCU-Dasmariñas, Perpetual-Biñan and Letran-Calamba compose the NCAA-South formed in 1999 and patterned after the NCAA-Manila.

These learning institutions, serving communities in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) area, compete in nine sports disciplines with basketball as centerpiece events.

Volleyball, football, chess, badminton, table tennis, swimming and taekwondo are the other regular events while boxing is to be staged this season as demonstration event.

Smart Sports is the presentor of the NCAA-South 11th season with “Blaze and Shine in 2009” as theme.

In a press launching at Don Bosco yesterday, season chairman Noli Eala said practically the entire San Pablo City will be involved in the activities during the inaugural day.

Eala said tree planting activity in and around the Sampaloc Lake Park is part of the inaugurals also to be highlighted by a torch relay and parade coordinated with the city government.

With an intact lineup, Don Bosco official Perfecto Bernard expects their team to have a good shot at a title repeat.

FAITH-Tanauan’s Atty. Gay Maria Francisco, San Beda-Alabang’s Ma. Angelica dela Cruz and Perpetual-Binan’s Rustico Camangian expect their teams to be the darkhorses. – Nelson Beltran