Philippines, Sports, television

NCAA Needs a Shorter Season

With 10 schools, the NCAA basketball season now runs from June to early November. The need for more game days and venues are a must to shorten the season.

The UAAP basketball season ended two weeks ago, but in the NCAA, the elimination round is still in progress. Already affected by the numerous weather and event postponements, the NCAA men’s basketball finals is now expected to be played in the month of November, which does have an adverse effect on the scheduling of the Philippine Collegiate Basketball League preliminaries. So what does the NCAA have to do in order to prevent this from happening again? Here are the three things I want to see.

1. More games during the week

Currently the NCAA basketball games are played every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. However, since the league now has 10 schools, a double-round elimination tends to be much longer. In order to make the elimination tournament shorter, the league must now play either four or five times a week; Tuesday and/or Friday games are an option. However, a majority of their games are being played at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan, and should the four or five-a-week approach be approved, the NCAA will find it hard to schedule most games there. Which leads to the next suggestion.

2. Venue Flexibility is a Must

Before the FilOil Flying V Arena opened, the NCAA used to play its games at either the Ninoy Aquino Stadium or the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila. Now they need these two venues more in order to play more games. Other options include the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay, PhilSports Arena and Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, and the seldom-used Makati Coliseum in Makati. For big games involving the top teams, the Mall of Asia Arena or the Smart Araneta Coliseum is a worthy option.

3. TV5 Must Agree to the Proposal

More games mean busy schedules for the Sports5 production crew. TV5 has to agree to the additional workload of games in order to make it happen. In addition, the NCAA needs to go back to the 2 p.m. start time for seniors doubleheaders, in order to accommodate the PBA games on most days. AksyonTV and the main TV5 network should also share live coverage of the NCAA, with a select number of games also airing live on the cable network HYPER.

With the greater amount of schools to commit, the NCAA needs the above proposals in order to finish their season quickly than at the current pace they’re in. And this new approach should enable the organizers of the PCCL to plan ahead for the qualifying rounds at various cities in the Philippines.

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