Magkakaroon ng bagong event na dapat abangan para sa 82nd Season ng University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
Sa unang pagkakataon sa league history, eeksena ang Girls Basketball tournament bilang demonstration sport.
Ang torneo ay inaasahan na sisimulan sa Oktubre 26 o 27 ayon sa event sub-host National University.
“It’s long overdue for the UAAP to have a basketball tournament for the girls,” pahayag ni UAAP Executive Director Rebo Saguisag.
Apat na team ang lalahok sa Girls Basketball tournament kabilang na ang Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle-Zobel, University of Santo Tomas at Adamson University.
“This is very important for the development of our women’s players. Schools want to recruit girls out of high school who are already fundamentally sound,” saad ni Ateneo Representative to the Board Erika Dy, na naging coach sa Ateneo Lady Eagles mula 2013-2015.
“Without a Girls Division, there is not much interest from young dreamers to begin with at that level.”
Bukod rito, inaasahan rin na makakatulong ang torneo sa Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas na makapag-produce ng mahuhusay na players na maaaring isalang sa Girls National Team.
“Having a Girls Division is consistent with the UAAP’s mission to provide a training ground for our future national athletes. As much as the college teams will benefit from this, it’s really our Gilas Women’s Team that will reap fruits from it in the future,” kwento ni Dy, na lumaro para sa De La Salle-Zobel noong high school.
“It’s a big step forward for women’s basketball. In the ASEAN region, we really need the exposure sa women’s side,” dagdag naman ni UAAP Basketball Commissioner Jensen Ilagan.
Makakatuwang ni Ilagan para sa apat na UAAP Basketball tournaments si league first-ever female Deputy Commissioner Ms. Edith Boticario, na may titulong Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Wellness mula University of Makati, isang FIBA-licensed official at dating PBA referee.
“This is a testament to the league’s commitment to inclusiveness,” sabi pa ni Saguisag. (Janiel Abby Toralba)