TACLOBAN. University presidents and representatives from eight state university and colleges in the region lock arms to signify their support and commitment after the signing of a memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to the first inter-collegiate basketball tournament launched by the Eastern Visayas Collegiate Athletic Association (EVCAA) on January 11 in Tacloban City. EVCAA’s college basketball games will officially start on January 25 at the Tacloban City Convention Center (Astrodome). (Contributed photo)

TACLOBAN CITY- The Eastern Visayas Collegiate Athletic Association (EVCAA) on Friday (Jan.11) announced the opening of the first season of the region’s inter-collegiate basketball tournament on January 25 at the Tacloban City Convention Center (Astrodome).
Eight of the 10 state colleges and universities (SUCs) in the region will join in the upcoming tournament, said EVCAA’s tournament commissioner Julius Ross Lacaba.
The participating SUCs are Eastern Samar State University (ESSU), Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU), Leyte Normal University (LNU), Naval State University (NSU), Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU), Samar State University (SSU), University of Eastern Philippines (UEP), and Visayas State University (VSU).
Presidents and representatives of the eight SUCs signed a memorandum of agreement on January 11 at the EVSU Graduate School campus in Tacloban.
“The game will start with the West teams. EVSU versus LNU, and NSU versus VSU,” Lacaba said.
Lacaba said the creation of the independent athletic association is patterned around the concept and structure of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), two of the premier collegiate athletic associations in the country.
“EVCAA aims to be the premiere Collegiate Athletic Association in the region and will conduct yearly sports tournaments as well as capacity building of in-house coaches supported by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the basketball governing body authorized by the country and sanctioned by the International Basketball Federation,” Lacaba said.
He also acknowledged the support of Tingog Sinirangan party -list and Leyte First District Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez for sponsoring the first season of the college basketball games.
“We know that sports is another form of intelligence. Believing that student-athletes have a lot to offer, we have created this opportunity for them to not only showcase but further develop their talents,” said Jude Acidre, the second nominee of Tingog Sinirangan.
Acidre said that aside from supporting the basketball tournament, they are not also closing the option to sponsor women’s basketball and volleyball.
Jude Duarte, LNU president, hoped that the student-players in the region “will have good reasons to stay” with the opening of EVCAA’s college basketball.
However, Duarte said that more incentives, scholarships, and exposure to tournaments are important for the players to be enticed to join in the school rather than playing outside.
According to Duarte, the university will get better players if it has a good sports program.