University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers (Courtesy of UAAP Varsity Channel)

MANILA – The University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 will see the return of events that were left out in the previous season due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The UAAP will resume with a full calendar, kicking off with the opening rites at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Oct. 1.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair Noli Eala assured the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and PhilSports Compex in Pasig City will be available for the UAAP.

"I'm excited. Ang tagal na nating na-miss ang UAAP (We missed the UAAP for a long time), with all the drums," said Eala, an Ateneo Law alumnus.

Eala cleared the way for the league to use the PSC-operated venues for its events following a courtesy call by UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag and Season 85 president Aldrin Suan at the PSC office in Manila on Thursday.

"I'm very happy to support the UAAP. I don't know how, but in our facilities, of course, are always welcome to help you. That's not a problem," Eala said during their meeting.

The PhilSports Arena will host the weekend games of next year's volleyball event.

"I will ask them (Sports Facilities Division). Sasabihin ko na kaagad na sa inyo na 'yung weekends ng volleyball (I will tell them immediately that you will reserve the venue for the weekend volleyball matches)," Eala assured, in response to Saguisag and Suan's request.

PhilSports will likewise host a quadruple-header of the men's basketball tournament on October 5.

Saguisag is delighted with how their courtesy call with Eala went.

"Natuwa lang ako na (I'm just happy that) what was supposed to be a simple courtesy call turned out to be a sharing of thoughts. Just listening to the chairman really talk about sports, na parang tumaba ang utak ko (I learned a lot)," Saguisag said in an interview.

Saturday’s opening will feature two men’s basketball matches – Adamson versus University of Santo Tomas at 2 p.m. and University of the Philippines against De La Salle at 4 p.m.

The women's basketball games are slated in the morning. (PNA)