By Bong Lozada
Long considered the league’s sleepers, University of the Philippines (UP) will make the 78th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) their personal concert stage.
It helps that they are the hosts for Season 78.
“I am optimistic,” UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan said after the closing ceremonies of UAAP Season 77 on Saturday evening at University of the East Theater.
UP last won the general championship in 1998, snapping University of Santo Tomas’ 10 straight titles, and was the third best in Season 77.
“The alumni support is very strong this year, you will be surprised when the time comes,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist said. “There has been this outpouring of support, not just in basketball.”
“There will be changes in UP.”
Tan added that hosting the UAAP would be a daunting task after the 77th season saw the closest race for the general title in recent memory.
UST edged De La Salle University 283-280 to regain the title after a two-year drought.
“Expectations? We have the whole UAAP working together,” Tan said. “But what is more daunting is the expectation from the public. Each season has increased people’s expectations for a greater season to come.”
Tan added there was still no permanent head coach for the Maroons’ basketball team and Joe Ward would continue as its interim head coach.
There was a delay in the process, Tan said, since he wanted to make sure that the new coach would have the representation he or she needed from the alumni.
“We have to choose the right one that our stakeholders like,” Tan said.
This story originally appeared at Inquirer.net