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Edith Boticario will be the first ever female deputy commissioner of the UAAP, and will help oversee the basketball tournaments / CTTO

UAAP to inroduce girls' basketball as demo sport

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For the first time in the history of the UAAP, a girls' basketball tournament will be held as demonstration sport.

The tournament will start either on October 26 or 27, according to event sub-host National University.

"It's long overdue for the UAAP to have a basketball tournament for the girls," said UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag.

Schools that have committed to join the four-team meet are Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle-Zobel, University of Santo Tomas, and Adamson University.

The league is hoping that the rest of the member schools develop their girls basketball program as well so that the student-athletes' transition from juniors to the collegiate game will be seamless.

"This is very important for the development of our women's players. Schools want to recruit girls out of high school who are already fundamentally sound," said Ateneo's representative to the board Erika Dy, who coached the Ateneo Lady Eagles from 2013-2015. 

"Without a girls' division, there is not much interest from young dreamers to begin with at that level."

The league also hopes that the tournament will help the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in identifying the top young prospects for the country's girls' national team.

"Having a girls' division is consistent with the UAAP's mission to provide a training ground for our future national athletes. As much as the college teams will benefit from this, it's really our Gilas women's team that will reap fruits from it in the future," said Dy.

"It's a big step forward for women's basketball. In the ASEAN region, we really need the exposure sa women's side," added UAAP basketball commissioner Jensen Ilagan.

Helping Ilagan oversee not just the girls' basketball event but all four UAAP basketball tournaments is the league's first-ever female deputy commissioner Edith Boticario.

Boticario, who holds a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Wellness from University of Makati, is a FIBA-licensed official and a former PBA referee.

"This is a testament to the league's commitment to inclusiveness," said Saguisag.

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