Universities and Colleges Basketball League kicks off Season 5 at Paco Arena

Universities and Colleges Basketball League
UCBL Opening Ceremony. Image from Universities and Colleges Basketball League Facebook page.

The Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) has returned for its 5th season after a three-year hiatus due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament was founded in 2016 by the Universities and Colleges Athletic League (UCAL) to give student-athletes from different institutions within Metro Manila and nearby provinces more opportunities and a larger platform to display their talent and abilities.

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Seven participating schools including Centro Escolar University, Diliman College, University of Batangas, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, Olivarez College, Guang Ming College, and Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas returned to the hardcourt at the Paco Arena on November 10, 2022, for the opening day games.

The return of UCBL is presented by Vespa and hosted by the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas.

Franklin Evidente, president of the UCBL, encouraged the athletes saying, “To all the players, give it a 110% every game, when you play. Because, everytime you step on the court you represent not only yourselves, but your team, your families, and your school. Give it all you got, but play fair; let’s set a good example every day.”

LPU-Batangas president Dr. Peter Laurel, PG Flex Linoleum owner Nelson Guevarra and MMDA’s Col. Bong Nebrija also graced the opening ceremony.

Guang Ming College-Tagaytay (GMC) under the watch of former UP Maroon, Coach Moriah Joel Gingerich, debuted against Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas (LPU-B) headed by coach Dan Acero.

With a final score of 77-68, GMC emerged as the victor, with Kurt Lactaotao being named the Most Valuable Player of the game after scoring 16 points and 12 rebounds.

The second game featured a match with the University of Batangas (UB) under coach Arnold Contorno, against Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas (PCU-D) headed by coach Johnny Belandres.

The exhilarating match ended the regulation period with a tied score at 85 all, requiring an extra five minutes in overtime.

The University of Batangas Brahmans eventually emerged winner at the end of overtime, 96-90, with Joseph Yvan Torres being hailed as the Best Player of the Game with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

You can watch the replays and the upcoming matches every Monday and Thursday via Livestream on the official SMART Sports Facebook Page.

With collegiate basketball competitions including UCBL, NCAA, and UAAP, as well as Gilas Pilipinas and Filipino hoop stars like Kai Sotto making headlines here and abroad, the Philippine basketball scene continues to thrive.

SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below to the UCBL as it continues to provide a platform for collegiate basketball players to display their talent and sportsmanship!

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Christian Tacsiat is a 4th Year BA Broadcasting student from the Philippine Christian University - Dasmariñas. He is a student servant-leader, with the hopes of creating more leaders out of others. He is a story teller whether it be through visuals or through his words. He aims to inspire more people through his works and his vision.