The NCAA Season 99 Media Conference, hosted at the Coral Way Lobby of the Mall of Asia Arena on Thursday, September 21, 2023, marked the commencement of an exhilarating season of competition. To kick things off, the hosts, including Martin Javier, Anton Roxas, and Martin Antonio, introduced the theme for this season: “New Heroes of the Game.” This theme champions the potential within each athlete, student, and coach to become heroes in their own right.
JRU Takes the Helm
José Rizal University (JRU) proudly took the role of host for this season, with President Vicente K. Fabella, also serving as the chairman of the NCAA policy board. Joining him were esteemed policy board members, representing various institutions that share the NCAA’s core values. These board members included Mr. Francisco Paulino V. Cayco of Arellano University, Rev. Fr. Clarence Victor C. Marquez, OP of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Br. Edmundo L. Fernandez, FS of College of St. Benilde, Dr. Jose Paulo E. Campos of Emilio Aguinaldo College, Atty. Roberto P. Laurel of Lyceum of the Philippines University, Dr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo of Mapúa University, Fr. Aloysius A. Maranan OSB of San Beda University, Rev. Fr. Rafael B. Pecson, OAR of San Sebastian College Recoletos, and Mr. Anthony M. Tamayo of University of Perpetual Help System Dalta.
President Fabella’s Inspirational Address
President Fabella’s speech highlighted the rich history of the NCAA, the oldest collegiate athletic association in the Philippines, established in 1924. He emphasized the spirit of competition, teamwork, and excellence that has defined NCAA athletics for almost a century.
The theme “New Heroes of the Game” resonated throughout President Fabella’s address, encouraging everyone to discover their inner hero. This season promises to celebrate not just athletic prowess but also the resilience and determination displayed by student-athletes, coaches, and institutions, especially in the face of unprecedented challenges.
The NCAA’s commitment to promoting the transformative power of sports and education through athletics was evident in President Fabella’s words. He expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to the NCAA’s legacy and looked forward to the journey towards the 100th year of the association.
GMA Network’s Enthusiastic Support
Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, Chairman and CEO of GMA Network, Inc., added his congratulations to JRU for hosting Season 99, emphasizing the exciting times ahead.
The Road Ahead
Following these inspiring speeches, the press engaged with President Fabella and Paul Supan, the chairman of the Management Committee. Supan expressed excitement about the return of various sporting events to the NCAA calendar, promising an enhanced experience for fans inside the arena.
President Fabella echoed this excitement, emphasizing the higher level of competition expected this season. He acknowledged the eagerness of student-athletes to return to full competition and the heightened excitement due to following the FIBA World Championship.
The coaches, representing different institutions, shared their thoughts on the season’s competitiveness. Coach Louie Gonzales of JRU Heavy Bombers and all the coaches emphasized the quality and competitiveness of this season. Coach Charles Tiu of Benilde pointed out that every team had improved, singling out Letran Knights as a team to beat and commending JRU Heavy Bombers as another strong contender. The coach of Mapua University summed it up, saying, “It’s everybody’s ball game.”
Team captains also had their moment, promising to give their best in every game. Ry Dela Rosa, the team captain of the JRU Heavy Bombers, emphasized leading by example and giving their all on the field.
A Memorable Season Beckons
As the event concluded, it was clear that NCAA Season 99 was gearing up to be a memorable one. With the theme of “New Heroes of the Game” driving the spirit of competition and excellence, fans and enthusiasts can eagerly anticipate an action-packed season filled with unforgettable moments on the courts and fields. The journey towards the NCAA’s centennial year had officially begun, promising a remarkable season for all.