THE future of Philippine basketball is here as the country’s first athletic collegiate league — the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) — welcomes the “New Heroes of the Game” as it officially opens Season 99 this September 24 via the home of the NCAA, GMA Network.
Live from the Mall of Asia Arena and simulcast at 2:00 PM on GMA and GTV, this season’s opening ceremony showcases the 10 member schools – led by Season 99 host José Rizal University – that are all ready to shine on the hardcourt and be the new heroes for this season.
Geared up for another intense season as well are Arellano University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, College of Saint Benilde, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Mapua University, San Beda University, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta.
The start of the much-awaited NCAA Season 99 Men’s Basketball tournament follows on GTV with the host school José Rizal University Heavy Bombers facing the three-time defending champion Colegio de San Juan Letran Knights at 3:30 PM. The second game sees the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates going up against the College of Saint Benilde Blazers at 5:30 PM.
Aside from Men’s Basketball, viewers will definitely be thrilled with other sporting events this season, including Women’s Volleyball, Cheerleading Competition, Swimming, Track and Field, Juniors' Basketball, Men's Volleyball, Beach Volleyball, Taekwondo, Chess, and the NCAA All-Star Games. Adding more excitement to the new season is the return of Badminton and Table Tennis, and the inclusion of grassroots programs like the Kiddie and 3x3 Basketball.
Season 99 Policy Board President Dr. Vincent K. Fabella of Josè Rizal University underscored the importance of searching for new heroes who can inspire others and create an impact to the whole NCAA community. "Continue championing new heroes to carry the legacy of NCAA!" shared Dr. Fabella.
In full support of NCAA Season 99 are members of the Policy Board, namely Francisco Paulino Cayco of Arellano University; Fr. Raymund Fernando Jose, OP of Colegio de San Juan de Letran; Br. Edmundo Fernandez, FSC of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde; Dr. Jose Paulo Campos of Emilio Aguinaldo College; Atty. Roberto Laurel of Lyceum of the Philippines University; Dr. Dodjie Maestrecampo of Mapua University; Fr. Aloysius Ma. Maranan, OSB of San Beda University; Fr. Rafael Pecson, OAR of San Sebastian College-Recoletos; and Dr. Anthony Jose Tamayo of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA.
NCAA Season 99 Management Committee Chairman Mr. Paul Supan emphasized who the true heroes of the game are. "Cheering fans, hardworking players, competent officials, and dedicated coaches make the sport beautiful. They are the true heroes of the game," said Supan.
Supan is joined by members of the NCAA Management Committee: Peter Cayco (Arellano University); Fr. Victor Calvo, Jr., OP (Colegio de San Juan de Letran); Manuel Raymund Castellano, Jr. (De La Salle-College of St. Benilde); Dr. Lorenzo C. Lorenzo (Emilio Aguinaldo College); Hercules Callanta (Lyceum of the Philippines University); Melchor Divina (Mapua University); Atty. Jonas Cabochan (San Beda University); Fr. Virigilio Paredes, Jr., OAR (San Sebastian College-Recoletos); and Francisco Gusi, Jr. (University of Perpetual Help System DALTA).
“GMA Network is a proud partner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines (NCAA),” said GMA Network Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon.
“The NCAA has the distinction of being the first and premiere collegiate athletics association of the Philippines. It has produced so many outstanding national athletes in various fields of sports, who have become heroic symbols of our youth not only in sportsmanship, but also in terms of discipline, perseverance, and excellence. On the eve of your centennial year, I would like to congratulate Josè Rizal University for hosting NCAA Season 99, and all the students, faculty, and staff of the ten member schools of the NCAA, in your continuing and relentless pursuit for the best,” Gozon added.
Through the wide reach of GMA Network, viewers across the Philippines have wide access to NCAA via free-to-air channels GMA and GTV. The games are streamed on the NCAA Philippines website (www.gmanetwork.com/ncaa), NCAA Philippines Facebook page and YouTube channel, and GMA Sports' Facebook and X pages. Global Pinoys can catch the opening ceremony live on GMA international channels GMA Pinoy TV and GMA News TV, while succeeding games can be viewed live via GMA News TV.
“Three seasons ago, the country’s first athletic league, NCAA, found its new home in GMA Network, said Senior Vice President and Head of GMA Integrated News, Regional TV, and Synergy Oliver Victor B. Amoroso. “As NCAA Season 99 commences, we look forward to meeting the New Heroes who will rise above the ever-changing landscape of collegiate sports. GMA Network, thru GMA Synergy, is pulling all the stops as it continues to provide the NCAA community, the sports fans, and our student-athletes with the best coverage for NCAA Season 99. From investing in new equipment and technology, training the best personnel, and utilizing GMA's wide reach across all platforms – GMA is committed to bringing the NCAA experience to every corner of the nation and even abroad,” Amoroso added.
New Faces and Innovations
NCAA Season 99 also marks the launch of GMA Integrated News’ AI (Artificial Intelligence) Generated Sportscaster, the country’s first digital news presenter. Sports enthusiasts will be in the know on the latest happenings and updates on the various sports events of the NCAA using the advancements in generative AI.
NCAA Season 99 also introduces its new lineup of courtside reporters who are set to deliver the latest reports and happenings in and out of court.
These 12 ladies include new and familiar faces such as “Ang Celebrity Student Reporter ng Cavite City” Lexi Gonzales; “Ang Cutie Singer Reporter ng Alabang” Hannah Arguelles; “Ang Pretty and Charming Student Reporter ng Caloocan City” Glycel Ann Galpo; “Ang Future Architect Reporter ng Pasig City” Alyanna Ysabelle Faustino; “Ang Events Host Student Reporter ng Sta. Rosa” Liezl Anne Nierves; “Ang Bubbly and Pretty Student Reporter ng Quezon City” Monique Angelika Santos; “Ang Multi-passionate Student Reporter ng Malolos” Diana Marie Igual; and “Ang Beauty Queen Reporter ng Valenzuela City” Arlove De Jesus.
Returning this season are “Ang Brainy Chic Reporter ng Los Baños” Kristine San Agustin; “Ang Pretty Entrepreneur Reporter ng Manila” Julia Mae Ong; “Ang Nursing Student ng Pulilan” Fatima Faye Reyes; and “Ang Student DJ Reporter ng Lucena City” Stephanie Benito.
Kapuso stars on opening day
On September 24, a vibrant and star-studded Sunday afternoon awaits viewers and NCAA enthusiasts for the “NCAA Season 99: New Heroes of the Game Opening Ceremony.”
Hosting the opening ceremony are GMA Synergy Sportscaster Martin Javier and Kapuso actor, triathlete, and host Matteo Guidicelli. Joining them are fellow Kapuso stars Arra San Agustin and Faith da Silva.
Set to provide electrifying performances are Asia’s Limitless Star Julie Anne San Jose together with Zephanie, Rita Daniela, Hannah Precillas, Jessica Villarubin, Mariane Osabel, Thea Astley, Lexi Gonzales, Ysabel Ortega, 1st.One, and Jillian Ward. Viewers should also watch out for the special participation of Asia’s Multimedia Star Alden Richards.
Tickets for the September 24 games are available via www.smtickets.com or on-site at the Mall of Asia Arena Ticket Booth.
The NCAA Season 99 action continues as GTV airs the live games Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 2 to 6 PM; Saturdays at 9:30 AM and 3 PM; and Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM.
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