From exciting half-time performances to buzzer-beater wins, the UAAP is finally, finally back
When you’re a college student, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season is one of the big events you look forward to the most. However, the annual college spectacle was put at an abrupt halt in March 2020 when the nationwide lockdown began. Filipino collegiate sports fans went two years without a single game, lost without the rivalry between powerhouses like Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University.
But as the Philippines eases restrictions signaling what may possibly be the end of the pandemic, the UAAP is back with more excitement than ever. The first round of the Men’s Basketball tournament begins at 4:00 PM on March 26, 2022, starting with the “Battle of Katipunan,” featuring the UP Fighting Maroons and Ateneo Blue Eagles.
While I was only able to watch a few games during my freshman and sophomore year, the games are now more accessible as Smart, the official digital partner of UAAP, will stream it for free on the GigaPlay app during a limited period. It’s safe to say that I’ll be taking advantage of this opportunity, thanks to Smart Prepaid.
There’s always going to be something quite magical about witnessing the games live and in person with our fellow schoolmates. After all, is our college life really complete if we don’t get to watch at least one UAAP game?
I still recall standing in the middle of the crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena, a freshman cheering for my school’s team, dressed in green, and screaming as loudly as I could. Although I knew little about basketball at the time, the passion I felt as I cried out loud hoping for a win overtook everything else. It was almost like I was on the court myself, playing the game alongside the team. During that match, I was their teammate.
Nothing can ever replace that memory. The feeling of being there, tears falling down as I yelled my heart out in the last couple of seconds. And when they finally won? It felt like I was among the victors—it was a win not only for the team, but for the entire school.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of winning, and I’m over the moon knowing that we will be able to experience that sense of victory once again.
While there will always be hecklers present, seeing each university’s community unite for a game is something that we can always look forward to. It’s always thrilling to be there among the thousands of fans cheering on everyone’s favorite teams, dressed in the designated school colors, faces painted with pride—in my case, I will be cheering “Animo!” with my head held high.
Despite the fierce rivalries that come with every season, Filipino fans, both young and old, are more than ready to see their favorite university athletes face one another. I’m definitely one of them, and I’m ready to end my college days with the games that will hopefully be another championship under DLSU’s belt.
To enjoy free streaming of the UAAP Games on the GigaPlay app, Smart subscribers can download GigaPlay on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, set up an account, and watch their preferred game on the GigaPlay content lineup while connected to Smart mobile data or PLDT Home WiFi without worrying about data charges. It’s that simple and easy.