HERE’S a silver lining to the ill-fated UAAP 82nd season.
The league will hold a virtual closing ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, as the curtains fall on the season that was cut short last April due to the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
For some graduating athletes who did not finish or even suit up in the 82nd season, the online closing rites is just fitting.
“(I’m) happy that the UAAP decided to do this because like it shows its support and appreciation for the seniors who dedicated five years to play and to show that living the student-athlete life is not easy because you have to have so many sacrifices,” said La Salle first baseman Diego Lozano in The Prospects Pod.
“You have to plan out your whole day to like five, even seven times a week just to accommodate everything and I heard UAAP is gonna have the closing ceremony online, so I guess that one is a good thing too,” he added.
The league will also give medals to about 1,150 athletes from all the eight member-schools in six sports whose seasons ended in a whimper.
“Siguro masaya kasi as a senior, siguro naman para sa aming lima dito, masaya kasi deserve naman namin makakuha ng kahit medal man lang kasi isa kami sa mga naging role models para sa mga bata so, I think deserve talaga namin, ng mga seniors,” said University of the Philippines men’s football team defender Miggy Clarino.
Added libero Ricky Marcos of defending two-time men’s volleyball champion National University: “Sobrang saya kasi ‘di ba, iisipin mo iyong buong taon na pinaghirapan niyo, may kapalit pa rin kahit ganito ang nangyari sa atin. Nagpapasalamat kami.”
“Siguro po masaya na rin po kasi makakatanggap po kami ng medal from the UAAP,” offered ace pitcher Arlyn Bautista of the reigning nine-time women’s softball titlist Adamson University Lady Batters.
Although the UAAP will give an extra playing year for athletes who either did not see action or fail to finish the 82nd season, Lozano, Clarino, and Bautista said they are unlikely to return, while Marcos is keen on a comeback with the Bulldogs.
Among the sports that were scrapped were the much-awaited women’s volleyball tourney, football, baseball, softball, athletics, lawn tennis, and 3×3 basketball.
Set at 4 p.m., the event will feature musical performances from artists Iñigo Pascual and Ylona Garcia, and OPM bands Sponge Cola and Itchyworms, who sang the season’s theme song “Ang Ating Tagumpay.”
The closing ceremonies will be aired on Facebook and YouTube, with replays on ABS-CBN cable channel Liga at 7 p.m. also tomorrow and at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.