"It will be a more exciting season next year," beams coach Edmund "Junel" Baculi, the athletics director of National University, which will be hosting the games of UAAP (University Athletics Association of the Philippines) in 2012.
For one, the main venue for the opening and most of the games will be moved to the Mall of Asia Arena.
The decision, according to soon-to-be president of UAAP Nilo Ocampo, was "expected" given NU's affiliation with SM Group of Companies, which is now a majority holder of the university.
Further, Baculi says the opening ceremonies will be "fantastic."
He adds, "NU is coming for the rebound. We're barking into something, and the others are feeling it."
NEW HOME. TheMOA Arena, which has a full capacity of 20,000, is gearing up to give the UAAP fans a never-before watching experience.
Erl Orenza, the venue's assistant vice president for events, says, "All seats can be considered prime spots."
Plus, the amenities include "big parking space," "corporate suites" and "state-of-the-art technology facilities."
Asked about the renovation plans for the Smart Araneta Coliseum—which had served as the kick-off site of UAAP for many years—Orenza simply stated, "They have a good plan."
When pressed with a similar question during his one-on-one interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), he explained, "You can't really control the people and the students to really compare. But we have an agreement internally that we'll not go to comparison."
REACTIONS. The student representatives of various campuses are both excited and on a wait-and-see mode.
Mark Espiritu of FEU (Far Eastern University) remarks, "Feeling ko ano, fresh[idea] siya kasi bago yung lugar. Pero siguro, marami pang adjustments na mangyayari.
Meanwhile, a young lady from DLSU (De La Salle University) comments, "Based on what I heard, tingin ko mas malaki pa rin yung Araneta. I don't really know yung objective nila kung bakit nila nilipat sa MOA Arena.
"But then, sinabi nilang gagawin nilang exciting, at SM naman 'to, I guess, maganda rin naman yung puwede nating i-expect."
Airnel Abarra, the photographer of UP Diliman's sudent organ Philippine Collegian, says, "Hope for the best. Pero kasi, ang concern ko lang...Sabagay, kung sa umpisa, medyo hindi accessible ito.
"At saka sana, mapanindigan nila yung sa tickets..."
In response, Orenza assures that the rates will be "student-friendly," despite the fact that the Patron and Lower Box will have more seats than the General Admission area.
He continues, "In terms of accessibility, if you really look at it, we have a lot of mall-goers everyday...I guess, it won't be an issue really. And that we will also be augmenting the transportation because we will be providing shuttle service, which will be routing from the MRT and LRT stations to Roxas Boulevard...It's also our way of addressing [the potential problem]. But again, the plan is really to augment lang."
Lastly, "They will be impressed with the world-class production stadium," which will eventually be a home to legendary games," says Orenza.