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Toward a ‘Better Normal’: 5 things to expect from UAAP Season 85

UAAP Season 85 kicks off with the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this Saturday. This comes only several months after the conclusion of last season.

But, we have many new things in store for us happening this October. Here are five things we learned from today’s UAAP Press Conference that you can look forward to this coming season.

1. A “Better Normal”

UAAP Season 84, which concluded just last May, pushed through on a very modified basis. Not all sports tournaments took place, and those that did were organized in a compressed schedule.

However, UAAP Director Atty. Rene “Rebo” Saguisag, Jr. assures us that this season, “The focus is to have a better normal.”

UAAP Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag

“We have the women’s and men’s basketball kicking off, but the target is to have the full calendar. Unlike last year, right off the bat, we declared there would be limited events,” Saguisag explained further.

With this, we can expect a return to the former UAAP basketball schedule, where games take place on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. However, still trying to make schedules meet, all teams will still be competing on Wednesdays.

Thus, for both men and women, four games will take place in the middle of the week, and Saturdays and Sundays will see two games each. You can see the full schedule for the first round of basketball matches here.

2. A new commissioner (and a new rule)

Earlier this month, the UAAP Board of Managing Directors announced that Richard Bachmann would serve as the Basketball Commissioner for both Seasons 85 and 86.

With his expertise as a former player, coach, team manager, and team governor, Bachmann’s main task will be to improve the officiating of the league. And as part of this, we will be seeing a new rule implemented in the UAAP.

UAAP Basketball Commissioner Richard Bachmann

“The FIBA made some changes in their rulings and one of the additions is the coach’s challenge,” the Commissioner announced.

Similar to what we see in the NBA, the ‘head coach challenge’ gives the head coach of each team an opportunity for an instant replay review. For every game, both coaches will only have one challenge each, regardless if the challenge is successful or not.

This will definitely shake things up in the UAAP basketball games, especially ones that are close in score.

3. Different team, different prep

With eight teams competing in the UAAP basketball tournament, each team had their own methods of training leading up to the start of Season 85. The coaches shared some of their preseason preparations earlier today at the press conference.

Some teams, such as ADMU, DLSU, and UP took advantage of the break in between seasons to gain international playing exposure. The Blue Eagles and Green Archers both traveled to Japan during their preseason, while the Fighting Maroons took a trip to Korea.

DLSU Green Archers
UP Fighting Maroons

With the international exposure, the coaches from the three schools were optimistic about how these opportunities allowed their teams to prepare for the coming season.

Meanwhile, other teams focused on their preparations locally. With new coaching staff in UE and UST, both teams have been working on implementing new systems in a relatively short amount of time to be ready for the start of the season.

Other teams, such as Adamson and FEU, were also active in the preseason tournaments, such as the FilOil Preseason Cup, as part of their preparation for the UAAP.

Adamson Soaring Falcons
FEU Tamaraws

Ultimately, each team had a completely different experience leading up to the UAAP basketball tournament. With the season finally tipping off this Saturday, we will soon see how each unique scheme plays in each team’s favor.

4. New correspondents

The UAAP correspondents have become an integral part of the league. Each team’s representative is not only responsible for highlighting the insider scoop of in-game moments, but they are also the voices that share the stories of our national players.

And earlier today, Season 85’s correspondents were finally revealed at the UAAP Official Press Conference.

UAAP Season 85 Correspondents

With these eight ladies, we have a diverse set of talents this season, with each correspondent ready to bring the stories of their respective teams to life.

5. You can watch anywhere

With all the excitement leading up to UAAP Season 85, we’re lucky there are many ways we can watch the upcoming basketball tournament.

In partnership with Cignal TV, the UAAP will be aired via One Sports, the UAAP Varsity Channel, and Cignal Play. Smart will also be digitally streaming UAAP events on the Smart GigaPlay app.

With multiple channels and platforms to watch basketball, as well as the other upcoming tournaments, UAAP fans can stay connected to the games they love throughout the entire season.

As the official tip-off is set for this Saturday, October 1, there is clearly a lot to look forward to. Stay tuned to The GAME for more UAAP updates.