University Athletic Association of the Philippines

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The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), established in 1938, is an athletic association of eight Metro Manila universities in the Philippines. The eight member schools are Adamson University (AdU), Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), Far Eastern University (FEU), National University (NU), University of the East (UE), University of the Philippines Diliman (UP), and University of Santo Tomas (UST). Varsity teams from these universities compete annually in the league's 28 events from 15 sports to vie for the overall championship title, namely, badminton, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, chess, fencing, football, judo, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.


In 1924, seeing the need to organize collegiate sports and set general athletic policies, Dr. Regino Ylanan (the University of the Philippines Physical Education Director) met with representatives of Ateneo de Manila (Jesuit fathers John Hurley, S.J. and Henry A. McCullough, S.J.), De La Salle College, San Beda College, National University, University of Manila, University of Santo Tomas, and Institute of Accounts (now Far Eastern University) to discuss possibilities of forming an athletic organization, which eventually became the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).[1]

In 1930, the University of the Philippines sponsored an experimental meet of the "Big 3" of the league (NU, UP, UST) on basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, swimming, track and field, boxing, and tennis.

The following year (1931), the NCAA Board of Directors divided the meet into three divisions to put competition on a fairer basis and to stimulate athletics among a greater number.

In March 1932, NU, UP, and UST formally seceded from the NCAA. Led by UP's Candido C. Bartolome, NU's Leon Tirol and UST's Fr. Silvestre Sancho, OP, the move was made to put competitions on equal footing, to increase amateur athletic competitions and to separate the universities from the college members of the league. On April 6, the "Big 3 League" is born. On August 14, the "Big 3" Association is inaugurated with a meet that starts with basketball. Other events were baseball, football, volleyball, relays, track and field, swimming and tennis.[2]

In 1935, UP did not participate in the "Big 3 League" because of mass intramurals at the state university. NU and UST held the meet with FEU (formerly Institute of Accounts) taking UP's place.

In 1938, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association and the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF), then the highest sports body in the country, encouraged the original "Big 3 League" and FEU to form a permanent sports association, thus the University Athletic Association of the Philippines was established. Events included were basketball, baseball, football, women's volleyball, swimming and track and field. UP bagged three titles (baseball, volleyball, track and field). UST was tops in football and swimming and FEU triumphed in basketball.[3]

In 1941, the outbreak of World War II hindered the staging of the 1941–1942 UAAP with UST failing to complete its term. UAAP competition was not held from 1942 to 1946 due to the Japanese occupation of the country which resulted in the closure of educational institutions. The UAAP competition resumed in 1947.

In 1952, University of the East, Adamson University, Manila Central University, and University of Manila were granted two-year probationary membership to the UAAP. After the two-year probationary period, UE and MCU was accepted as a regular member into the league in 1954. MCU remained until its pull-out in 1962. The other two universities (Adamson and UM) were dropped from the UAAP due to their inability to comply with the league requirements.[4]

In 1970, Adamson University reapplied for admission to the league with a two-year probationary period and in 1974, Adamson successfully hosted the 1974–1975 athletic season paving the way for its permanent membership into the league.

In 1978, the UAAP admitted Ateneo de Manila University into the league while De La Salle University joined in 1986.[5]

In 2020, the 2019-20 Competition was initially intended to end in May 2020. However, the competition abruptly ended in April 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the planned 2020-21 Tournament was cancelled.


The UAAP seal features the university colors of the eight member-schools of the league in a circular formation. It also bears the year when the league was established, 1938, in the center.

The seal changes every season where the university colors of the season host is placed on the very top. Nonetheless, the arrangement of the colors never changes.

The colors of University of the Philippines (green and maroon), University of Santo Tomas (gold and white), Far Eastern University (green and gold), and National University (blue and gold) come first, clockwise. These are followed by the colors of Ateneo de Manila University (sky blue and white), De La Salle University (green and white), Adamson University (dark blue and white), and University of the East (red and white).

Member schools

The following are the member universities of the league:

University Athletic Association of the Philippines current member schools
Colors School Founded Seniors Division Juniors Division Type Membership
Men Women Boys Girls
Adamson colors.svg
Adamson University 1932 as Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry[6] Soaring Falcons Lady Falcons Baby Falcons Lady Baby Falcons Private
(Congregation of the Mission)
Ateneo colors.svg
Ateneo de Manila University 1859 as Escuela Municipal de Manila[7] Blue Eagles Lady Eagles Blue Eaglets Lady Eaglets Private
(Society of Jesus)
La Salle colors.svg
De La Salle University 1911 as De La Salle College[8] Green Archers Lady Archers Junior Archers Lady Junior Archers Private
(De La Salle Brothers)
De La Salle Santiago Zobel School
FEU colors.svg
Far Eastern University 1928 as Institute of Accountancy[9] Tamaraws Lady Tamaraws Baby Tamaraws Lady Baby Tamaraws Private
Far Eastern University–Diliman 2005–present[m 1]
NU colors.png
National University 1900 as Colegio Filipino[10] Bulldogs Lady Bulldogs Bullpups Lady Bullpups Private
National University–Nazareth School 2005–present
San Beda colors.svg
University of the East 1946 as Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration[11] Red Warriors Lady Warriors Junior Warriors Lady Junior Warriors Private
UP colors.svg
University of the Philippines Diliman 1908[12] Fighting Maroons Lady Maroons Junior Maroons Lady Junior Maroons Public/National 1938–present
University of the Philippines Integrated School 1976–present
UST colors.svg
University of Santo Tomas 1611 as Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario[13] Growling Tigers Tigresses Tiger Cubs Tigress Cubs Private
(Order of Preachers)
University of Santo Tomas High School


  1. The defunct FEU Boys High School and FEU Girls High School represented FEU in the Juniors division before 2005. The two high schools were established in 1933.


Member universities compete in 15 sports. Basketball, being the most popular sport in the Philippines, is the most watched and most supported among all the sports.

All of these sports have Men's and Women's divisions, with the exception of baseball, in which only men participate, and softball, which is for women only. The following sports have a Juniors division, in which the associated high schools of the universities participate: volleyball, table tennis, chess, swimming, fencing, and track and field have Boys' and Girls' divisions. Meanwhile, baseball and football have a Boys' division only. Basketball staged Girls' division competitions starting Season 82 albeit as demo sport only.

Proposed expansion

As of now, only four of the eight member universities participate in all 15 sports, namely the Ateneo de Manila University, the De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas.

During a UAAP Board meeting in Season 76 (2013–14), a proposal was made to add golf and gymnastics to the league's sporting events. This was turned down by the Board and instead a resolution was passed encouraging its member-schools to participate in all of the league's events, a goal the organization would like to achieve in the near future.

As of Season 82 (2019–20), only five sports in the Collegiate division have a complete roster from the eight member schools. These sports are basketball, indoor and beach volleyball, chess, and football (Men's only). In the High School division, only basketball and table tennis (both in Boys division) have full participation. High School Basketball Girls was added in Season 82.

Perennial overall champions UST and La Salle, as well as UP and Ateneo, have teams in all events, thus giving them an advantage for the general championship.

Swimming has no participants from FEU in both the men's and women's divisions. NU, which has undergone the biggest buildup particularly in basketball, volleyball and tennis, have yet to take part in judo (men and women), football (women), and fencing (women).

In taekwondo, Adamson is not maintaining a men's and women's team; and Adamson and UE, a poomsae squad. FEU also does not have a team in judo.

Football, which has gained popularity, also is incomplete. Adamson and UE do not have a women's team. Futsal will be a future event in Seniors and High school, In tennis, there are no Adamson and FEU teams in the men's and no UE, Adamson and FEU in the women's.

Fencing has been missing Adamson in the men's, and Adamson and NU in the women's. Softball has seven teams, sans FEU and baseball, six without FEU and UE.

With that goal, the UAAP would continue to defer action on the inclusion of other sports until full participation on the present sports is achieved in order to make the league more competitive, especially in the race for the general championship.

Sports calendar

Beginning Season 78, the league has shifted its sports schedule start from July to September because of the change in the academic calendars of most of its member universities.[14]

1st semester sports (September–December)

2nd semester sports (January–May)


Ateneo–U.P. rivalry

A rivalry between the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines, both currently ranking as the top universities in the country overall, existed even before the formation of the NCAA-UAAP. UP students would troop from Padre Faura to the Ateneo campus in Intramuros to play basketball with the Ateneans,[15] which led to Ateneo forming the first organized cheering squad and pep band in the Philippines and what is now known as the Blue Babble Battalion.[16] This would later become "UAAP's Battle of Katipunan" when both universities transferred to their respective campuses along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, and when the two schools began competing in the UAAP.

Despite both schools being featured in several UAAP Finals matchups in other events like men's football, the now-dubbed "Battle of Katipunan" garnered nationwide attention for the first time in UAAP history when third-seeded UP Fighting Maroons, after ending a 21-year long drought of Final Four appearance, overcame second-seeded Adamson Soaring Falcons' twice-to-beat advantage to advance to the finals for the first time since their 1986 championship to face defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles (who advanced first to the championship round after beating Far Eastern University in the semifinals) in men's basketball in 2018. Ateneo would eventually sweep UP in the best-of-3 finals series en route to their 10th (and 2nd consecutive) UAAP championship.

Ateneo–La Salle rivalry

The rivalry between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University, widely regarded as Philippines' foremost collegiate rivalry for decades, has resulted in sold-out games (especially in women's volleyball and men's basketball) that attract several public figures in attendance, including politicians, movie stars, and foreign diplomats. It is also the foremost school rivalry in the UAAP since La Salle joined the UAAP from the NCAA in 1986. However, the rivalry dates back to the time when both schools were playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association from 1924 until the late 1977.[17]

UP–UST cheerdance rivalry

The cheerdance rivalry between University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas has been one of the most talked about rivalries in UAAP history. Since the inception of the cheerdance, UP and UST possess the best winning records, dominating the top podium finishes between the 1990s and early 2010s, including consecutive joint podium finishes by both schools from 1999 to 2008. Both schools' pep squads are famous for their stunts and high-energy performances. UST has won 8 cheerdance titles which included 5 straight victories from 2002 to 2006, while UP has won 8 cheerdance titles and completed podium finishes for a total of 20 years, the most for the event. Since 2010, the rivalry turned into a friendly one as both UP and UST supporters cheered their school cheers during the announcement of winners.[18]

Although matches between these universities have not reached a rivalry status in sporting events outside of cheerdance, the battle between their respective teams may be referred to as "Separation of Church and State".[19][20] UST is the sole pontifical university in the country wherein Pope Pius XII gave it the title "The Catholic University of the Philippines".[21] UP, on the other hand, has been declared by the Philippine government as the country's "national university".[22]

The popularity of the rivalry between the two universities diminished in the late 2010s in the cheerdance competition as a result of the rise of other peps squads. It gained greater prominence when the two teams competed against each other in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball semifinals. The Growling Tigers swept the Fighting Maroons, who had the twice-to-beat advantage, to return to the UAAP Finals.[23][24][25][26]

La Salle–UST rivalry

Both were known for their numerous basketball championship matches in the 1990s with UST winning four straight titles from 1993 to 1996, the last three of which were at the expense of the Green Archers at the UAAP Finals. In 1997, La Salle eliminated UST in the semifinals to deny the Growling Tigers of a fifth consecutive championship title. In 1999, La Salle defeated the Growling Tigers to win the basketball crown and achieved their own 4-peat championship streak from 1998 to 2001. Their basketball rivalry diminished in latter years because of UST's decline.

It became a celebrated rivalry in women's volleyball, as the Lady Spikers and the Tigresses met three times in the championship of the Shakey's V-League tournament. UST won the first and La Salle winning the latter two. The Tigresses have won 5 championships while the Lady Spikers have 3 under their belt.[27]

The women's volleyball rivalry was carried over to the UAAP. The DLSU Lady Spikers and the UST Tigresses met in the UAAP Finals for two consecutive seasons – Season 72 (won by UST) and Season 73 (won by La Salle). But, UST struggled in the succeeding seasons. Both schools met in the semifinals in Season 79 (won by La Salle) and Season 81 (won by UST). In Season 81, UST ended La Salle's decade-long streak of finals appearances (running from 2009 to 2018). It was the longest in the Final Four era of UAAP volleyball.

FEU–UE rivalry

The rivalry between Far Eastern University and University of the East started in the 1950s. Tagged as the "Battle of the East", these two schools, along with UST, have the winningest basketball squads in the league (FEU having won 20 basketball championships while UE having won 18 titles).[28]

La Salle–FEU rivalry

The rivalry was sparked after the Season 54 Basketball Finals in 1991 when La Salle's final game win was protested by FEU after a Green Archer was admitted into the playing court after being disqualified. The UAAP Board upheld the protest and ordered the replay. The protest was taken up by FIBA, the highest international governing body in basketball. FIBA and the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) supported La Salle's stand on the issue.[29][30][31] La Salle did not show up, claiming to have won legitimately, and FEU was awarded the trophy by default. La Salle then had their victory parade pass through all UAAP schools – when they passed through the FEU campus, the motorcade was bombarded with debris.[32]

The rivalry between DLSU and FEU has produced several momentous scenes and drama in UAAP Basketball history. FEU and La Salle faced each other in the UAAP Finals in 2004 and 2005, with the Green Archers prevailing in 2004 and FEU winning the year afterwards. However, La Salle's 2004 championship was forfeited and handed to the Tamaraws instead after a controversial ineligibility issue, which also caused DLSU's suspension in 2006.[33] FEU has the longest ongoing streak of Final Four appearances in UAAP men's basketball (since 2013), most recently winning the championship against UST in 2015.

DLSU and FEU has also faced several times in the finals of UAAP women's volleyball, most recently in 2018 when La Salle swept FEU en route to their 11th overall championship, but both teams were ousted in the Final Four by rising contemporary teams such as Ateneo and UST in 2019. La Salle has won 3 crowns over FEU in their head-to-head finals matchups, while FEU, having the most number of volleyball championship titles in the country (with a total of 29 titles in the league), has won 4 crowns over DLSU, most recently in Season 65 (2002). DLSU has the longest ongoing streak of Final Four appearances in UAAP volleyball (since 2009 in the women's division).

Adamson–UP rivalry

The rivalry started when Adamson had the twice-to-beat advantage against UP in the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball semifinals. Both UP and Adamson are the only remaining schools that are yet to win a men's basketball championship in the UAAP in the 21st century. After losing twice in the elimination rounds, UP defeated Adamson in 2 games, including the overtime in the do-or-die match, to pose their first appearance in the UAAP Finals in any of the league's marquee events in the 21st century.

UAAP championships


Note: The telecast for RPN and PTV were produced by "Silverstar Sports", a production company founded by Louis Kierulf.[35]

See also


  1. History. NCAA Philippines.
  2. "From fraternity to glamour league", The Varsitarian, April 9, 2009. 
  3. The Evolution of the UAAP. De La Salle University.
  4. "UAAP Fun Facts", Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 September 2018. 
  5. A Brief History.
  6. History. About AdU. Adamson University.
  7. History. About Us. Ateneo de Manila University.
  8. Overview. Facts & Figures. De La Salle University.
  9. The FEU Story. About FEU. Far Eastern University.
  10. History. National University.
  11. A Brief History of the University of the East. About the University. University of the East.
  12. About UP. University of the Philippines.
  13. History. About UST. University of Santo Tomas.
  14. UAAP 78 to open on Sept 5 – FEU athletic director.
  15. Eric C. Abenojar and Paula V. Peralta. "Tradition continues: The Eagle and The Archer", The GUIDON, 2004-10-07. 
  16. Ateneo Songs and Cheers Ateneo de Manila University official website. May 2, 2006
  17. Bartholomew, Rafael. "A Nation's Passion Lives in a Rivalry of Green vs. Blue", New York Times, September 23, 2007. 
  18. Flores, Karen. "'UP-UST friendship' emerges after cheerdance competition", ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, September 16, 2010. 
  19. News, ABS-CBN. UP-UST game sends netizens abuzz.
  20. UP vs UST 'Church vs State' match evokes battles of years past.
  21. History. UST.
  22. Republic Act No. 9500.
  27. "La Salle, UST duel for volleyball title", Manila Bulletin,, February 21, 2010. 
  28. Mendoza, Shielo. FEU Tamaraws. College Hoops. Yahoo Southeast Asia.
  29. "The Rewind: The Origin of the FEU-DLSU Rivalry". 
  30. "Coach Franz reacts to Montinola statement", GoArchers. 
  31. "Remember this strange end to the FEU vs La Salle finals in 1991?", 
  32. "Philippine UAAP – Rivalries". 
  33. "Dissecting Rivalries La Salle versus Ateneo, UST, and FEU", The LaSallian, October 26, 2015. 
  34. A UAAP History.
  35. Catacutan, Dodo. "Meet the man who first put an entire UAAP basketball season on television", Sports Interactive Network Philippines, Summit Digital, September 23, 2016. 

External links

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