NCAA raring to restart


THE National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) intends to allow its athletes to start face-to-face training on November 15 or early December, according to NCAA Management Committee (ManCom) Chairman Dax Castellano of host College of Saint Benilde.

Castellano made the announcement during an inoculation campaign of athletes of Letran on Friday, although he stressed that only basketball and volleyball athletes will be covered by the restart of training.

He said all of NCAA’s member schools were hit hard financially by the Covid-19 pandemic and couldn’t maintain a complete roster of varsity teams.

“The first step before training is vaccination and we’re happy that most athletes prior to this event were already inoculated,” said Castellano, adding that 85 percent of the NCAA’s student-athletes in several sports got the vaccine since last May.

“The remaining 15 percent who unvaccinated are those from far provinces,” he said.

The league’s vaccination campaign started on Thursday at the Jose Rizal University and will make the rounds of the eight other member schools.

Castellano said the NCAA Season 97 would potentially open in February.

“But this still depends on the situation or decision of the Commission on Higher Education and the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases],” he said.

The season, Castellano said, could be staged in a bubble either at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna or in Subic.

“But Metro Manila remains an ideal venue whether it’s a non-bubble or closed circuit setup,” he said. “But I’m hopeful and excited to do what is necessary that this face-to-face training and competition will push through. Sports is our duty and life.”

The ManCom’s recommendation for the training restart and the season setup will be presented to the league’s policy board which is composed of the member schools’ presidents, he said.

Online chess and other virtual sports, including taekwondo’s speed kicking, among others, will be maintained in Season 97, he said.

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