By Paul David Gelario
Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association president Ruel Dela Rosa from Immaculate Conception College announced at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Tapa King restaurant in Cubao Quezon City that the 10th season of their league opens on Sept. 18 at Mall of Asia Arena.
Ten schools will be participating this ISAA season, which has the theme “ISAAng Dekada sa Paghubog ng Kabataang Atleta.”
A surprise guest will also attend the event.
“Our previous guests include Eric Spoelstra and Alvin Patrimonio. But our special guest this coming season? It’s a surprise,” said ISAA Vice President Melai Florentino from FEATI University.
Due to an increase in participating schools, Florentino admitted that they are expecting a huge crowd of 10,000 to 13,000 on opening day.
“We have a new format since we have 10 teams. We have a single round robin. Top one and two will have a twice to win advantage (over the next two),” Vice President of ISAA from La Consolacion College Andy Cristobal said.
The increase of participating teams created a glimmer of hope for ISAA.
“ISAA attempts to become a big league after the UAAP and NCAA,” Dela Rosa said. “We are young. But if we work together we’ll be in the right direction.”
“When we started 10 years ago, we were small. Then one day we got bigger and bigger, and the rest is history,” Florentino added.
The opening night will also include a beauty pageant from participating schools.
The opening game will be between the defending champion Philippine Air Transport and Training Services and La Consolacion College.