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The Baguio–Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) will miss, hopefully temporarily, one of its members while another could skip the main sport when prime athletic collegiate league participated by the different educational institutions of Baguio and La Trinidad opens this year’s sporting hostilities on October 4, 2019
The newest member King’s College of the Philippines (KCP) is reportedly taking a leave of absence due to inability to field sufficient players, while a Baguio City-based school is reportedly thinking to skip the basketball competitions probably due to the same reasons.
It will be recalled that universities and colleges in the entire country suffered significant dips of enrollment in the last four years because of the transition from the previous six-year elementary, four-year high school, four-year college education system to the k-12 system. Most college schools have no regular third and fourth year student blocks this school year as only the second batch of K-12 graduates are making their entry to the college level.
KCP was admitted to the league as the 11th member in 2015 during Season 29. The college hosted the league’s 31st season in 2017.
Cordillera Career Development College (CCDC) will host this year’s athletic jousts where the ten remaining member schools are expected to compete in nine sporting events during the first phase of the league’s 33rd season.
Basketball will be the tournament’s centerpiece, where only nine teams will be available competing with the possible exception of the school who reportedly is contemplating to skip the basketball games.
Another set of ten sporting events will be played during the second semester.
Baguio Central University, Baguio College of Technology, Benguet State University, Pines City Colleges, Philippine Military Academy, Saint Louis University, University of the Cordilleras, University of Baguio, and University of the Philippines-Baguio complete the roster of teams in the league and are expected to return to action for this year’s hostilities.
University of Baguio, the defending champions in both men’s and women’s basketball, is seeking to keep the rest of the competition at bay and repeat as titleholders.
The Cardinal Men’s team took possession of the title they were accustomed to own when they blanked SLU Navigators in two straight championship games at the Navs’ home floor that went down the wire.
The Navigators were a surprise last year when overcame twice to beat advantage of the BCT Atoms in the semifinals by pocketing back-to-back heart-pounding games to get back in the finals, the first time they got there since appearing in 2009, when their coach, Raymond Austria, was still a player.
Lady Cardinals outlasted the UC Lady Jaguars in close Game One and dropped a big run during the last two minutes of Game Two of their series to capture the women’s basketball crown and complete a Cardinal sweep of the hoops competitions.
By: Armando M. Bolislis