University Athletic Association of the Philippines

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University Athletic Association of the Philippines
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event UAAP Season 86
FoundedSeptember 27, 1938
DirectorRene Saguisag Jr.
No. of teams8
Country Philippines
Venue(s)Metro Manila
Most titlesSeniors' division:
UST school colors UST Growling Tigers (46 titles)
Juniors' division:
UST school colors UST Tiger Cubs (22 titles)
TV partner(s)Cignal TV
Philippine Collegiate Champions League
Philippine University Games

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, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University (DLSU), Far Eastern University (FEU), National University (NU), University of the East (UE), University of the Philippines Diliman (UP), and the University of Santo Tomas (UST). Varsity teams from these universities compete annually in the league's 32 events from 18 disciplines to vie for the overall championship title, namely, 3x3 basketball, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, billiards, boxing, chess, fencing, football, judo, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo poomsae, taekwondo kyorugi (sparring), tennis, 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, 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, athletics, 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, athletics, 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.

On September 27, 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 athletics. UP bagged three titles (baseball, volleyball, athletics). 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 1941–42 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 1974–75 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 that year. However, the competition abruptly ended early in April due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.[6][7][8] Because of the ongoing pandemic, the planned 2020-21 tournament was cancelled, the first in peacetime.[9][10][11][12] The league resumed the tournament on March 26, 2022 with its 84th season.[13][14][15]


The UAAP seal used until 2021.

The previous UAAP logo 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 the National University (blue and gold), Far Eastern University (green and gold), University of Santo Tomas (gold and white), and the University of the Philippines (green and maroon), come first counter-clockwise. These are followed by the colors of the University of the East (red and white), Adamson University (navy blue and white), De La Salle University (green and white), and the Ateneo de Manila University (sky blue and white). The arrangement of the school colors is based from their admission in the UAAP (except for Ateneo and DLSU's colors).

Prior to the start of UAAP Season 84 in March 2022, the league unveiled its new logo on December 17, 2021. The new logo was inspired by the Philippine traditional native sport sipa.[16][17][18] Though the school colors arrangement was not followed for Season 84 (the season that the UAAP adopted the current logo), the arrangement of school colors still changes every season beginning with Season 85. The host school's colors is still placed at the topmost "sipa" streak.

Member universities[edit]

The following are the member universities of the league:

University Athletic Association of the Philippines current member universities
Colors School Founded Collegiate Division High School Division Membership
Men Women Boys Girls
Adamson University 1932 as Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry[19] Soaring Falcons Lady Falcons Baby Falcons Lady Baby Falcons 1952–53,
Ateneo de Manila University 1859 as Escuela Municipal de Manila[20] Blue Eagles 1978–present
De La Salle University 1911 as De La Salle College[21] Green Archers Lady Archers Junior Archers Lady Junior Archers 1986–present
De La Salle Santiago Zobel School
Far Eastern University 1928 as Institute of Accountancy[22] Tamaraws Lady Tamaraws Baby Tamaraws 1938–present
Far Eastern University–Diliman 2005–present[m 1]
National University 1900 as Colegio Filipino[23] Bulldogs Lady Bulldogs Bullpups Lady Bullpups 1938–present
National University–Nazareth School 2005–present
University of the East 1946 as Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration[24] Red Warriors Lady Warriors Junior Warriors Lady Junior Warriors 1952–present
University of the Philippines Diliman 1908[25] Fighting Maroons Junior Maroons 1938–present
University of the Philippines Integrated School 1976–present
University of Santo Tomas 1611 as Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario[26] Growling Tigers Tigresses Tiger Cubs Tigress Cubs 1938–present
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.

Membership timeline[edit]


University Athletic Association of the Philippines is located in Metro Manila
La Salle
La Salle
FEU Diliman
FEU Diliman
Smart Araneta Coliseum
Smart Araneta Coliseum
Filoil Flying V Arena
Filoil Flying V Arena
Philsports Complex
Philsports Complex
Rizal Sports Complex
Rizal Sports Complex
Mall of Asia Arena
Mall of Asia Arena
Locations of the UAAP schools and tournament areas within Metro Manila

Member universities compete in 14 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 high school division, in which the associated high schools of the universities participate: volleyball, table tennis, chess, swimming, fencing, and athletics 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[edit]

As of now, four of the eight member universities — the Ateneo de Manila University, the De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas participate in all 15 sports. 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 85 (2022–23), only three Collegiate Division sports have a complete roster from the eight member schools. These sports are basketball, volleyball, and beach volleyball. In the High School division, only boys' basketball has full participation. High School added girls' basketball in Season 82.

Perennial overall champions UST as well as UP, La Salle, 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 or the women's divisions. NU, which has undergone the biggest buildup, particularly in basketball, volleyball, and tennis, has 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 women's teams, while NU does not have a men's football team in Season 85. In tennis, there is no FEU team 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 without 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 in the present sports is achieved to make the league more competitive, especially in the race for the general championship.

Sports calendar[edit]

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.[27]

First semester sports (September–December)[edit]

As of Season 85

Second semester sports (January–May)[edit]


Ateneo–UP rivalry[edit]

School colors of Ateneo and UP

A rivalry between the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines, the country's two highest-ranked academic institutions for decades, existed even before the formation of the NCAA and UAAP.[28] Students of UP would troop from Padre Faura to the Ateneo campus in Intramuros to play basketball with the Ateneans,[29] 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.[30] 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.[31][32][33][34]

While both schools featured in the UAAP championship games for 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 in men's basketball in 2018.[35] Excluding 2019, Ateneo and UP's men's basketball teams have since faced each other in the UAAP post-season rounds four times. Ateneo won the championship in Season 81 in 2018 via sweep,[36][37] and Season 85 in 2022 via do-or-die game.[38][39] The Fighting Maroons ended the Blue Eagles' all-time UAAP men's basketball record 39-game win streak,[40][41] and won the title via do-or-die game in Season 84 in 2022,[42][43] before defeating them in the Final Four the following year to end Ateneo's six consecutive seasons of UAAP Finals appearances and podium finishes from 2016 to 2022.[44][45][46]

Ateneo–La Salle rivalry[edit]

School colors of
Ateneo and La Salle

The rivalry between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University, widely regarded as Philippines' foremost collegiate rivalry for decades,[28] has resulted in sold-out games (especially in men's basketball and women's volleyball, the latter of which both schools hold the current all-time record for the longest joint UAAP Finals appearance from 2012 to 2017) that attract several public figures in attendance, including politicians, movie stars, and foreign diplomats.[47] It is also the foremost school rivalry in the UAAP since La Salle joined the UAAP from the NCAA in 1986.[48] However, the rivalry dates back to the time when both schools were playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association from 1924 until Ateneo transferred to the UAAP in 1978.[49][50][51]

UP–UST rivalry[edit]

School colors of
UP and UST

The cheerdance rivalry between University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas has been one of the most productive rivalries in any event 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 eight cheerdance titles which included five straight victories from 2002 to 2006, while UP has won eight 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.[52]

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".[53][54] UST is the sole pontifical university in the country wherein Pope Pius XII gave it the title "The Catholic University of the Philippines".[55] UP, on the other hand, has been declared by the Philippine government as the country's "national university".[56]

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 National University.[28] 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.[57][58][59][60]

La Salle–UST rivalry[edit]

School colors of
La Salle and UST

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.[61][62][63] Their basketball rivalry diminished in latter years because of UST's decline.[28]

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 five championships while the Lady Spikers have three under their belt.[64]

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 Seasons 79 and 85 (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.[65]

FEU–UE rivalry[edit]

School colors of
FEU and UE

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][66]

La Salle–FEU rivalry[edit]

School colors of
La Salle and FEU

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.[67][68][69] 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.[28][70]

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.[71]

DLSU and FEU have met seven 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.[72][73] La Salle has won three 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 four 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[edit]

School colors of
Adamson and UP

The rivalry started when Adamson had the twice-to-beat advantage against UP in the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball semifinals. During that season, UP and Adamson were the only remaining schools that had yet to compete in the men's basketball championship round in the UAAP in the 21st century. After losing twice in the elimination rounds, UP defeated Adamson in two 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.[74][75]

Adamson–Ateneo rivalry[edit]

School colors of
Adamson and Ateneo

The Adamson Soaring Falcons and the Ateneo Blue Eagles did not have a well-known rivalry, but Adamson ended a 13-year, 29-match losing streak against Ateneo in the UAAP Season 74 basketball tournaments when they defeated Ateneo in the last game of the elimination round and denied the Blue Eagles of a thrice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals. Their rivalry, also referred to as the "Battle of the Birds",[76] began in 2010, when they met in the finals of the Philippine Collegiate Championship League, a year before Ateneo was defeated once by Adamson in UAAP Season 74.[77]

While Adamson and Ateneo's UAAP men's basketball rivalry was rekindled by their semifinal matchup in UAAP Season 85, both notably competed in the playoffs of women's volleyball in UAAP Seasons 75, 76 and 84, with Ateneo prevailing in all mentioned matchups and, in the latter case, ousting Adamson from contention for the Final Four round. In 2023, however, Adamson pulled off an upset by defeating the defending champions, Ateneo, during their matchup in the first round of the eliminations to send Ateneo to its weakest tournament opening since clinching the first ever season sweep in the Final Four era of UAAP men's basketball in 2019,[78][79] before facing off against each other in the fourth seed playoff.[80][81] Ateneo eventually prevailed in the do-or-die playoff to extend their UAAP men's basketball semifinals appearance streak to its ninth season – the longest ongoing streak so far by any team in the tournament.[82][83]

UAAP championships[edit]


See also[edit]


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