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BBEAL opens 34th season Oct. 28

ON BOARD. The Baguio Benguet Educational Athletic League open its 34th season on October 28, a week later than the original plan of launching it on October 21. The host, the Benguet State University and the venue of the opening, the school’s gym. Pigeon Lobien

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The 34th season of the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League will finally start but will be launched reportedly a week later than earlier projected.

The new date of its launching will be on October 28, but this will be decided first by the 10 school presidents and their athletic directors when they hold a joint meeting on Monday at the RDC Hall of this season’s host, the Benguet State University.

University of the Cordilleras athletic director Danilo Cong-o said that the executive and the technical committee, where the athletic directors are members, will decide Monday when they will launch the collegiate games.

Cong-o said that he will not be present in the meeting as he will be travelling back from Davao where he met with the Private School Athletic Association for its planning.

Earlier, BSU newly reappointed athletic director Frael Aquino said that opening could be on October 21 of course at the state university’s gym.

“(The) proposed opening is on October 21,” Aquino told this writer via private message after hosting his counterparts or representatives from neighbor Cordillera Career Development College, the Pines City College, the Philippine Military Academy, the University of the Philippines and the Big Three of University of the Cordilleras, the University of Baguio and the Saint Louis University.

“I had been wanting to convene the schools but I waited for my reappointment (as athletic director),” said the football coach and member of the Philippine Football Federation who joined the Philippine delegate to the FIFA Women’s World Cup last July.

Aquino said that his term as athletic director expired after the last school year and he was just awaiting the formal appointment by BSU president Felipe Comila.

“I could not call for a (BBEAL) meeting if I lack the paper (of appointment),” he added.

In September last year, the athletic directors convened in UB where CCDC turned over all the documents, balance from its hosting in 2019 as well as reconvene the executive committee which lost its treasurer during the pandemic, who was forced to resign from work as a result of the lockdown to stop spread of the Covid-19.

Aquino then accepted the responsibility, but the BBEAL never took off despite the start of classes after three years of lockdown.

Also last year, the restart of games on October on a “minimal scale” to accommodate several events that were supposed to include basketball and volleyball.

“We are not sure which sports to include,” Cong-o then said as they need to restart their sports program with many of their athletes unable to play and many graduated.

Last year’s meeting was a déjà vu of the 1996 get together of the athletic directors all from Baguio schools after BSU and CCDC departed putting an end of the old college league – the Baguio-Benguet College Athletic Association – and creating a new one, the Baguio Educational Athletic League.

That league included UC, UB, SLU, UP-B, PCC, BCU, PMA and Easter College. Kings College of the Philippines has left the association after the abolition of its sports office.

In 2002, however, the Benguet schools rejoined thus the current name of BBEAL. CCDC had its new campus at Buyagan.

CCDC last hosted the event in 2019 which was truncated when the city and the country were declared under lockdown due to the pandemic. Pigeon Lobien

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