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Rains greet Olympic-style UAAP opening ceremony

July 9, 2011 6:44pm

A heavy downpour greeted the opening of the 74th UAAP season but that didn't stop the league from putting up a one-of-a-kind opening ceremonies held Saturday at the Marikina Sports Park.

For the first time in the rich history of the league, the UAAP used an Olympic-style opening ceremony with some 3,700 athletes from all 15 sports disciplines parading around the track oval sporting umbrellas that corresponded with their school colors.

Some 600 performers also entertained the crowd which witnessed a 30-feet by 60-feet Philippine flag being unfurled in the wet field.

Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, said that the rain was a blessing as he thanked all the participants who made the event possible despite the heavy downpour. "Rain or shine, you are here, and I thank you for that."

A rain-soaked Olsen Racela, who was a member of Ateneo's 1987 and 1988 champion teams, capped off the event by lighting the cauldron to signal the start of the 74th season of the league.

Racela, who recently retired from basketball and is now the coach of the Philippine youth team, had the torch which traveled from the eight members schools before reaching the Marikina Sports Park.

A series of fireworks and firecrackers were set off to finish the affair with Sponge Cola singing at the background. Then, the Itchyworms performed well after the end of the ceremonies this time in front of organizers and some athletes who stayed on to watch. - Reuben Terrado/JVP, GMA News
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