“Let the games begin!” says former PBA Governor Buddy Encarnado as the National Capital Region Athletics Association (NCRAA) begins #ANewBeginning in its 25th season on December 5.
With the theme, “A New Beginning”, the National Capital Region Athletics Association (NCRAA) opened its 25th season with newly-elected NCRAA President and Philippine Merchant Marine School (PMMS) Vice President of the Student Affairs and Services Patrick Nolasco at the Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City.
With a total of 16 different universities and colleges at the opening ceremony, Nolasco commenced the program with his welcoming remarks to the schools, players, and guests.
According to Nolasco, when the teams play together, they can achieve greater heights through sportsmanship and camaraderie, and unity by their vision, mission, direction, and policies.
Due to lack of players, NCRAA and Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (UCLAA) were merged last year in season 24 into NCR-UCLAA. However, the league is back to its original NCRAA this year for season 25 and its ambitious goal still remains—to be one of the top collegiate athletic association in the Philippines.
The league honored the teams AMA University Titans, Asian Institute of Maritime Studies Blue Sharks, De Ocampo Memorial College Cobras, Emilio Aguinaldo College Vanguards, National College of Business and Arts Wildcats, New Era University Wildcats, Olivares College Sea Lions, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa Marshals, Philippine Air Transport and Training Services (PATTS) College of Aeronautics Sea Horses, Philippine Merchant Marine School Mariners, Philippine School of Business Administration Jaguars, Saint Francis of Assisi Doves, Technological Institutes Philippines Engineers, University of Luzon Golden Tigers, University of Makati Herons, and De La Salle University – Dasmariñas.
Challenging the NCRAA teams, Nolasco shared his favorite quote from the legend Michael Jordan, “Some people want it to happen and some wish it could happen. But others make it happen. And this is my challenge to you guys. I hope you’re the one that [is going to] make things happen.”
New beginning, new logo
Philippine Sports Commission Honorable Chairman William Butch Ramirez also gave a quick opening talk in support of NCRAA, giving emphasis that he will give financial support to the league.
“Philippine Sports Commission will support you (NCRAA league) all the way until my fifth year in service,” Ramirez said.
Moreover, Ramirez shared a lesson to the crowd—“Playing in NCRAA, you (players) may not be the champion, but you have to finish the game.”
In relation to NCRAA’s #ANewBeginning theme, NCRAA unveiled the new logo for the season. Even when the league merged with UCLAA last year, the torch remains, representing recognition and homage to the NCRAA history. The colors of the torch are commonly used by the 16 participating teams and the different universities’ logos are arranged in a circular form representing continuity and unity.
Standing out from all the contestants, Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA)’s candidate grabbed the annual Ms. NCRAA title.
Let the games begin
For his closing remarks, the 2004 to 2005 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor Manuel Encarnado expressed his gratitude and shared his insights for the NCRAA opening ceremony.
“Guided by the new vision, with an even greater determination and sense of purpose, we hope to see a new era in collegiate sports, one truly reflective of our values, demands, challenges, dreams, and expectations of the Filipino youth…let us keep our dreams and aspirations alive,” Encarnado said as he proceeded to open the first game of the season with a classic—“let the games begin.”
Playing their first game for the season, the DLSU-D Patriots will battle at the home court of their opponent, Philippine Air Transport and Training Services (PATTS) College of Aeronautics Seahorses this Friday, December 8 at the Seahorses’ home gym.