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UAAP all set to open 70th season on July 7

July 2, 2007 9:23pm
The 70th season of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is set to open with colorful rites on July 7 at the Araneta Coliseum, in Quezon City.

The University of Santo Tomas (UST), who won last year’s Men’s basketball title against powerhouse Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), will play as host for this year. The theme for this year’s season will be: “Winners All."

UST’s multi-titled Salinggawi Dance Troupe will perform during the elaborate rites, at 1 p.m.

Fr. Ermito de Sagon, this year’s UAAP president, said a full field of eight teams will again see action.

De La Salle University (DLSU), still rock-solid despite serving a year-long ban after being found guilty by the UAAP board of fielding ineligible players in its basketball team in 2003 and 2004, makes its much-awaited return to the league.

The basketball tournament, he added, will adopt a new rule for the year, with a total of 15 players, from 14 the previous seasons, now allowed to play.

"This is among the new rules we are implementing to make sure that the basketball games will be more exciting and fun to watch," De Sagon said during a press briefing on Monday to announce the launching the 70th season of the coutry's premier collegiate league.

The defending champion Tigers will take an opening day bye, leaving the Green Archers to debut against the dangerous and rookie-laden University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons at 2 p.m.

The National University (NU) Bulldogs, who last won the basketball title in 1954, and traditional collegiate basketball power Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws clash in another game scheduled at 4 p.m.

De Sagon said most of the games will be played at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila, with the Tigers debuting there on Sunday against traditional foe University of the East (UE) Red Warriors at 4 p.m.

Aside from basketball, first-round sports will also include men’s baseball, women’s softball, men’s and women’s chess, taekwondo, judo, and swimming.

Fusion of modern folk and jazz dances at opening

Meanwhile, five-time the UAAP cheerdance champion, the Salinggawi Dance Troupe, is preparing a fusion of modern folk and jazz dances for the opening ceremonies of UAAP Season 70.

Choreographed by Ryan Silva and Rene Hofileña, Salinggawi’s long-time choreographers, the three-part exhibition will run roughly nine minutes.

The first part will consist of a variety of dances such as modern jazz, cheerdance, and hip-hop, followed by two parts that will use barrio themes accompanied by folk dance music in an upbeat tempo.

“It will be a first for Salinggawi to perform native-inspired dance numbers in a modern rendition," Salinggawi president Kim San Juan said. “The choreography for the folk dance does not have the usual melodramatic approach and that makes our performance more exciting from the past."

Undoubtedly the finest ensemble of dancers in UAAP cheerdancing history, Salinggawi is very much aware that there will be no room for mistakes.

With 29 seniors left for this year’s squad plus 23 rookies, Salinggawi aims to leave spectators in awe with another explosive performance.

“Those who will be watching us will really scrutinize our performance so we really have to give our best yet," San Juan said.

Aside from Salinggawi, dance squads from different colleges are also set to grace UST’s UAAP hosting festivities to share the spotlight with other Thomasian talents. - GMANews.TV
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