Broadcast leader GMA Network via GMA Synergy gave the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) a star-studded grand opening of Season 98, drawing crowds in Araneta Coliseum and toppling rival TV shows last September 10.
Held in front of a live audience for the first time in three years and considered one of the biggest opening ceremonies in the association’s history, the “NCAA Season 98: Achieve Greatness Every Day Opening Ceremony” was attended by more than 12,500 NCAA fans and featured heart-pumping song and dance numbers from various Kapuso artists.
Based on Nielsen Philippines’ National Urban TV Audience Measurement (NUTAM) overnight ratings for Sept. 10, NCAA Season 98’s opening rites, which aired on both GMA and GTV, posted a combined people rating of 5.2 percent. It won against It’s Showtime, which only managed to get a combined people rating of 2.6 percent (TV5, A2Z, Kapamilya Channel, Jeepney TV), and TV 5’s succeeding program Maria la del Bario, which only posted a people rating of 1.4 percent.
In one of the NCAA’s most colorful opening ceremonies, the ten schools donned costumes representing some of the country’s biggest festivals. GMA Regional TV and Synergy brought the festival costumes straight from the provinces.
First Vice President and Head of GMA Regional TV and Synergy Oliver Victor B. Amoroso explained the significance of featuring these festivals during the ceremony. “Most of the athletes of the NCAA are from the provinces — as far as Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Batangas, Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos. Kaya rin natin inimbitahan ang mga festival to participate because they represent the diversity of the athletes,” he said.
Season 98 host Emilio Aguinaldo College led the NCAA schools with Naga City’s Peñafrancia Festival together with Arellano University for Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival; Colegio de San Juan de Letran for Batangas City’s Sublian Festival; De La Salle-College of St. Benilde for Vigan City’s Binatbatan Festival; José Rizal University for Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival; Lyceum of the Philippines University for Zamboanga City’s Hermosa Festival; Mapua University for Dagupan City’s Bangus Festival; San Beda University for Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival; San Sebastian College-Recoletos for Bukidnon’s Kaamulan Festival; and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA for Bacolod City’s Masskara Festival.
The opening ceremony was hosted by ‘Game-On!’ host and NCAA Season 98 sportscaster Martin Javier with fellow GMA Sparkle artists Manolo Pedrosa and Ms. Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo.
Joining the celebration were Mark Bautista, Rochelle Pangilinan, Jessica Villarubin, Anthony Rosaldo, Thea Astley, Jeremiah Tiangco, Sean Lucas, Mannex Manhattan, Ken San Jose, the Gueco Twins, and XoXo.
Making the event even brighter were the NCAA muses, namely Pam Prinster, Lianne Valentin, Gabrielle Hahn, Caitlyn Stave, Arra San Agustin, Angela Alarcon, Tanya Ramos, Sophia Señoron, Roxie Smith, and Pauline Mendoza. Rallying behind the student-athletes are the NCAA Season 98 Cheerleaders.
The Arellano Chiefs started this season on a high note after fending off host school Emilio Aguinaldo Generals during their maiden face-off following the opening ceremony last Saturday. Also sending a strong message for Season 98 were the Mapua Cardinals who beat the San Beda Red Lions during the second game.
In full support of NCAA Season 98 are the members of the Policy Board led by this season’s President, Dr. Jose Paulo Campos of Emilio Aguinaldo College; Francisco Paulino Cayco of Arellano University; Fr. Rector Clarence Victor Marquez, OP of Colegio de San Juan de Letran; Br. Edmundo Fernandez, FSC of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde; Dr. Vincent Fabella of José Rizal University; Atty. Roberto Laurel of Lyceum of the Philippines University; Dr. Reynaldo Vea of Mapua University; Fr. Aloysius Maranan, OSB of San Beda University; Fr. Rafael Pecson, OAR of San Sebastian College-Recoletos; and Dr. Anthony Jose Tamayo of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA.
Present during the opening ceremony as well were the members of the NCAA Season 98 Management Committee: Chairman Estefanio Boquiron, Jr. of Emilio Aguinaldo College; Pedro Cayco (Arellano University); Fr. Victor Calvo, Jr., OP (Colegio de San Juan de Letran); Manuel Raymund Castellano, Jr. (De La Salle-College of St. Benilde); Efren Jose Supan (José Rizal University); Hercules Callanta (Lyceum of the Philippines University); Melchor Divina (Mapúa University); Atty. Jonas Cabochan (San Beda University); Fr. Virigilio Paredes, Jr., OAR (San Sebastian College-Recoletos); and Francisco Gusi, Jr. (University of Perpetual Help System DALTA).
Catch the NCAA Season 98 action on GTV every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday to Sunday at 12:00 NN. In between games, viewers can catch ‘Game On!’ hosted by Martin Javier, Anton Roxas, and Martin “Coach Hammer” Antonio.
The games are also streamed on the NCAA Philippines website (www.gmanetwork.com/ncaa), NCAA Philippines Facebook page and YouTube channel, and GMA Sports’ Facebook and Twitter pages.
Kapuso abroad can watch NCAA via GMA Pinoy TV and GMA News TV.
For more updates on NCAA, visit its official website www.ncaa.com.ph. Follow @ncaaphilippines, @gmasynergy, and @gmasportsph on social media.