WNCAA returns after two years of virtual events amid pandemic

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THE WOMEN’S National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines (WNCAA) opens shop this Saturday at the St. Scholastica’s College (SSC) in Manila, ending a long hiatus of face-to-face tournaments due to the pandemic.

Stuck to stage virtual events in the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions, the country’s foremost athletics association for women since 1970 finally returns to full-swing action for its 53rd Season with a bevy of sporting events both in the juniors and seniors division among 15 member schools.

Centro Escolar University (CEU), the basketball champion before WNCAA’s long layoff, banners the cast along with Assumption Antipolo, Assumption College San Lorenzo, Chiang Kai Shek College, De La Salle-Santiago Zobel School, La Salle College Antipolo and Miriam College.

Also in the fray are Philippine Women’s University, San Beda College Alabang, St. Paul College Pasig, Saint Jude Catholic School, St. Stephen’s High School, University of Asia and the Pacific, University of Makati and host SSC.

The formidable squads will slug it out in basketball, volleyball, futsal, table tennis, badminton, poomsae, taekwondo, swimming and lawn tennis with online chess, cheerdance and streetdance as additional spectacles for this year’s edition with a theme of “Rise, Fly, Soar High”.

“This is the third time we’re hosting the WNCAA and we know that WNCAA has been very significant in providing opportunities for young women and students to develop themselves holistically, which is in line with St. Scholastica’s values,” said Sr. Christine Pinto, OSB, president of SSC.

“So, after two years of having no face-to-face events, it’s now time to rise, fly and soar high WNCAA,” added Ms. Pinto, who was joined by WNCAA’s council led by president Juanita Alamilo of CEU and executive director Maria Vivian Manila.

The WNCAA opening ceremony will be held at the St. Cecilia’s Hall in SSC followed by the juniors’ volleyball action featuring the home school against St. Jude at 1 p.m. and Assumption Antipolo against Miriam College at 2:30 p.m.

Basketball will start the next day pitting Chiang Kai Shek College versus La Salle College Antipolo, La Salle Zobel against Miriam College and San Beda Alabang vs St. Paul Pasig.

The seniors’ play will follow suit in February. — John Bryan Ulanday