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NCAA brings back centerpiece sports

Competitions in centerpiece sports athletics and swimming are set for a much-awaited return when Season 98 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association gets off the wraps.

NCAA managing committee member Peter Cayco of Arellano University said a clearer picture of what’s on the horizon will be known next month.

“The details will be ironed out by the end of September. If we have at least four schools to join, we are good to go,” Cayco told Daily Tribune in a conversation.

Cayco said the coaches of the respective schools have been discussing the mechanics of the staging of the events.

Last season, only men’s basketball and women’s volleyball were the only sports that were played with taekwondo and chess done via on-line.

Men’s volleyball is slated to return in the country’s oldest collegiate league as well as the cheerdance competition.

“We won’t have all the events in athletics and swimming. For example, one of the proposals is to have the swimmers compete in multiple events so that there will be less people inside the venue,” Cayco said.

San Beda University dominated the men’s and women’s swimming competition in Season 95.

With the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down the league, these events had to take a backseat for health and safety reasons.

But with the government easing up restrictions, the NCAA is slowly bringing back its full roster of sports.

Season 98 is set to begin on 10 September at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with men’s basketball returning to the traditional double-round robin format.

Cayco said the country’s oldest collegiate league will adjust depending on the health and safety protocols of the national government.

“Schools must require their players to take weekly antigen tests,” Cayco said.

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