Expect nothing but thrilling battles when the country’s leading college and university teams vie for the crown in the inaugural staging of the Shakey’s Super League 2022 Collegiate Pre-season Championship set to unwrap on 24 September at the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
This will be the first time that a tournament will feature all eight teams from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and 10 from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
“We’re very excited about this conference as we will be able to watch the best college and university teams compete before the start of their respective collegiate seasons,” said Dr. Ian Laurel, president of SSL organizer Athletic Events and Sports Management, Inc. (ACES), during the league’s press conference on Saturday at the Philippine Sports Commission Hall inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
ACES chairman and CEO Philip Ella Juico, Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. (SPAVI) president and CEO Vicente Gregorio, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Noli Eala, coaches and team captains of participating teams were also present during the media launch.
All eyes will be on UAAP champion National University and NCAA titleist College of St. Benilde as both squads are looking to reign supreme in the SSL following their unbeaten championship runs in their respective collegiate leagues.
But it will be a tough feat to achieve as 16 other squads are equally hungry for glory in the season-opening conference organized in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education.
The 18 teams are divided into four groups with Pool A composed of University of the Philippines, University of the East, Mapua, San Beda University and University of Perpetual Help.
Adamson University, University of Santo Tomas, San Sebastian College, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Lyceum of the Philippines University are in Pool B while NU, Ateneo de Manila University, Jose Rizal University and Arellano University are in Pool C.
CSB is joined by De La Salle University, Far Eastern University and Letran in Pool D.
Using an all-to-play format, all players listed in a team’s roster will be fielded.
“This tournament format will benefit the teams as they work on improving their level of play and chance for coaches to use different combinations of players. This will also serve as a huge opportunity for new recruits and those off the bench to showcase their skills,” Laurel said.
The top two teams of each pool will advance to the next round where they will be grouped into two pools for another round-robin play to determine their ranking in the knockout quarterfinals. Both the semifinal and final are also knockout matches.
The challenge system will be implemented after the preliminary round.
Games will air live on free TV on IBC-13 while on cable through Solar Entertainment on a one-day delayed basis. Plus Network will stream the games via Facebook and Tiktok.
Meanwhile, the league also announced its plans for the second conference.
The top three teams after the NCAA and UAAP wars will be invited for the second conference scheduled sometime in July 2023 where they will be joined by six other squads which will qualify in the regional qualifying tournament.