Sportswriter’s Notebook- NCAA basketball: will seasons be shorter by next year?

One thing is for sure.

The 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament will  be remembered as the longest season on record in league history.

For no other season in league history has gone this far, reaching up to the second and third week of November.

Hence, the hashtag on Twitter, #DipataposangNCAA, and memories of many things (like Sportsmaryosep’s Joey Villar’s fatherhood to Iago Sebastian during the Undas break,), and with Manila Bulletin’s Kristel Satumbaga-Villar as a new mommy.

(For more on Sportsmaryosep and his adventures, your can browse it here:

Other memorable things includes the La Salle Green Archers’ title conquest over the University of Santo Tomas Tigers in the recent 76th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball season.

So,  if everything goes as planned, the basketball schedule of season 90 will have an additional playdate per week.

Management committee chairman Dax Castellano of season 89 host College of St. Benilde said talks are now going on over such changes.

Member schools of the NCAA mancom have expressed their interest in shortening the schedule.


(from left to right:  some of the members of the NCAA mancom, (standing)EAC’s Marlon Campos, CSB’s Dax Castellano, 88th NCAA Swimming Championships Commissioner Eugene Tan, Below, Speedo Philippines’ Marketing Communication Officer Edelyn Yanilla and Operations Manager Rajiv Srivastava, 88th NCAA Swimming Championships Chairman Francisco Gusi and JRU’s Paul Supan.- Photo sourced from the website).

“Its being discussed, about the league having a four-day-a-week schedule para bumilis ang takbo ng tournament,” stated Castellano.

This year, the  schedule of the basketball games  have stretched from June to November.

The  five-month span is unprecedented in league history.

It all started with  the  entry of three new teams four years ago.

Four years later, the NCAA began feeling the effects of a long and tiring stretch of games.

They began noticing its effects when season 89 was first stretched by two weeks following a break during the Fiba-Asia Championships last August.

Then,  four  suspensions were due made due to bad weather, the traffic caused by Iglesia ni Kristo medical mission and the  All-Souls Days and All Saints Day break.

Last season’s games ended in October 24, 2012.

But this year’s games will now end by mid-November.

The Final Four will commence on November 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Here’s a review of  the history of the basketball schedule of the past six years, and with each season  usually beginning in the third week of June.


There were only eight teams then. And the last championship game ended on Sept. 29, 2008.


The season was delayed by the passage of Typhoon Ondoy from Sept. 23 to 30, 2010. With   10 teams playing,(and 3 new schools accepted, and Philippine Christian University’s membership suspended), the last championship match was played Oct. 29, 2009.


Angeles University Foundation did not join, and so nine school teams were around. With no postponements remembered here, season ended on Oct, 15, 2010.


There are 10 school teams with Lyceum Philippine University around. Season finished at its longest schedule to date on Oct. 26, 2011.


Everything is the same as season 87. Season ends on Oct. 26, 2012.


This year will be the longest season on record, and historically for the NCAA.  The season began on June 22.

An 11-day break was included following the country’s hosting of the FIBA Asia championships Aug. 1-11 was planned

Heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Maring from Aug. 15 to 22 led to another series of two cancellations.

A fourth cancellation because of typhoon “Odette,” compelled  organizers are now brace themselves for a finals series which could happen towards the end of November.

With the coming Undas break also in mind, the Final Four finals were able to reset and makes plans to finish their schedule on the second and third weeks of November.

So, even if another typhoon comes (and hopefully not a magnitude 7.2 earthquake), we will no longer have to brace for a schedule which could run up to December.

More on a previous post can be seen here:


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