SportsChange of scenery: UAAP Season 81 first semester venues
Change of scenery: UAAP Season 81 first semester venues
December 5, 2018
December 5, 2018

The first half of UAAP Season 81 saw the constant venues for the first semester sports tournaments such as the Mall of Asia Arena, Smart Araneta Coliseum, UP Human Kinetics Gym, Blue Eagle Gym, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, SM Sands by the Bay, and the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion. However, there have also been some changes in the setting for some sports. The Victoria Sports Tower, Ynares Center, and the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center were introduced as the new venues of the 81st edition of the UAAP.



Ynares Center

The DLSU Green and Lady Archers’ UAAP Season 80 Basketball Tournaments were held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Blue Eagle Gym inside the main campus of Ateneo De Manila University, both in Quezon City, and the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Although majority of the basketball tourneys this season were held in the same venues, there were also rare instances when the teams from Taft would play in the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Seating on a five hectare lot situated along the Circumferential Road in Antipolo City, the Ynares Center was used for the second round of elimination of both the men’s and women’s divisions. The locale has a seating capacity of 7,400 and has a parking area that can accommodate 440 vehicles.

As for how far the Ynares Center is from the main campus of DLSU, according to Google Maps, the length to travel between the two places is 24.7 kilometers, while the shortest route, as referenced from the same source, to the Mall of Asia Arena and Smart Araneta Coliseum are 4.8 and 10.9 kilometers, respectively. Additionally, athletes would need to travel 15.7 and 8 kilometers, respectively, if their games would be scheduled at the Blue Eagle Gym and FilOil Flying V Centre.

On November 3, the Green Archers faced the UST Growling Tigers while the Lady Archers played against the UP Lady Maroons in the Ynares Center. “It’s my first time to play in [Ynares Center] Antipolo pero parang okay din kasi bago yung venue,” shared Green Archer Aljun Melecio as he was unaffected with the change of venue for one of the games in the UAAP Season 81 Basketball Tournament.

On the other hand, the same cannot be said for Lady Archer Lauryn DelCampo. She explained, “Playing in Ynares was difficult because we never really practiced there.” DelCampo shared that aside from the fact that the team didn’t get to experience training in the new venue beforehand, there were also other factors that contributed to the setting’s unfamiliarity. “It was a new gym and with every new gym there’s a new feel, the way our shoes react to the floor was different as well, the rim of each court was different, sometimes the way the basket is designed makes it seem as though the rim is higher or lower or smaller or bigger,” DelCampo added.


Victoria Sports Tower

The UAAP Season 80 Fencing Tournament was held at the PhilSports Complex—formerly known as ULTRA Sports Center, located in Pasig. This UAAP season, the tourney was relocated at the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City.

Located between GMA-Kamuning and Quezon Avenue stations of the MRT, it is currently the first and only condominium in the country with a sports complex. The amenities offered in the Sports Complex include three lanes of 50 meter laps swimming pool, a basketball court, a badminton court, a lawn tennis court, a table tennis court, golf simulation rooms, indoor golf rooms, gyms, archery rooms, a squash court, a billiard hall, a bowling alley, and a jogging trail.

According to Google Maps, the shortest route to get to Victoria Sports Tower from DLSU reaches 13.7 kilometers, while the shortest distance between La Salle and PhilSports Complex is 13.1 kilometers. The Green and Lady Fencers travelled to the venue last November 22 to 25 when they participated in the UAAP Season 81 Fencing Tournament.

Lady Fencers co-captain Pat Eusebio stated that the Victoria Sports Tower had more complexity as compared to last year’s setting. “The venue was really spacious compared to that of last [year’s]. It was also really nice that the holding area, dining area, and playing area were all separated. Hindi magulo and halo halo yung crowd and equipment.”

(It was not messy and the crowd and equipment were not cramped into one venue.)

However, there was also an experience of discomfort in the new site of the competition. David Lumahan, the team captain of the Green Fencers, said that the dugout was uncomfortable for the players and coaches. “The only problem is dun sa players dugout, wala kasing masyadong chairs for the players and coaches,” he mentioned.

(The only problem is the player’s dugout; the chairs were not sufficient for all the players and the coaches.)


Enrique M. Razon Sports Center

As the judo tournament last season was held at the the De La Salle Zobel Sports Pavilion in Alabang, this UAAP Season 81 will see the Green and Lady Judokas compete at De La Salle University’s Enrique M. Razon Sports Center on December 8 and 9.

The Enrique M. Razon Sports Center was built in 1998, used as a training facility for Lasallian athletes to prepare for the UAAP, while DLSU students utilize the classrooms for Physical Education classes. Most commonly known as “Razon” to DLSU students, it houses a swimming pool, a badminton court, basketball courts, volleyball courts,  dance and martial arts studios, and a track and field oval. Students, professors, and employees of DLSU alike may also make use of the building’s parking spaces located at the third to sixth floors, as it can accommodate up to 350 cars.

Green Judoka Benjamin Bolongaita shared that it feels good to know that the competition will be held at Taft Avenue. “Also, since Razon is where we usually practice judo, it’s more convenient for my teammates and I because we consider [it] as our home court and we feel like we have an edge because of this,” said Bolongaita.

Every year the UAAP introduces different sets of new venues every season and regardless of how unfamiliar and distant these new settings may be, athletes will always go out of their way to travel to these new locations to represent their University.