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Host St Paul Pasig sets sights on more WNCAA titles

St. Paul College Pasig is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to improve on its respectable showing last season now that it is hosting the 49th Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA).

The Paulinians, overall runners-up in the midgets and juniors divisions last year, are hosting the WNCAA for the first time since joining the league in 2013.

"Boldness with respect, ethics, responsibility, fairness and teamwork,” said school directress Sr. Dedicacion Rosario on the values they want to promote in line with the season theme "Play Bold with A Heart of Gold" during the media launch on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at SPCP.

Season 49 the country’s only tri-level league for women will kick off at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum with a basketball tripleheader.

St. Paul takes on Poveda at 12:30 p.m. in juniors play while seniors matches pit San Beda College Alabang against University of Makati at 2 p.m. and seven-time defencding champion Centro Escolar University versus Philippine Women's University at 3:30 p.m.

"We have only three holdovers from last season's team but we also have new, talented recruits so we are confident that we can get championship number eight," said WNCAA president Juanita Alamillo of CEU.

Volleyball starts on Sunday, Sept. 2., also at RMC while futsal commences on Sept. 9 at SPCP.

St. Paul was midgets runner-up in basketball, cheerdance and swimming in Season 48. In the juniors level, it ruled taekwondo’s kyorugi event and placed second in cheerleading, poomsae, badminton and softball.

"Our student athletes have continuous preparations and now that the WNCAA season is here, trainings are more frequent," said Kathlyn Anne Pike, SPCP assistant principal for GIFT (Giftedness Instruction for Talent) Development Program.

In the seniors division, CEU was the 48th season overall champion. Aside from basketball, it also won a fourth consecutive crown in cheerleading and ruled poomsae and badminton.

Overall midgets champion Miriam College will try to keep its basketball, kyorugi and badminton crowns while top juniors squad De La Salle Zobel will defend its volleyball, swimming, table tennis and lawn tennis championships.

Other teams in the 16-school tournament are Angelicum College, junior and senior futsal defending champion Assumption College San Lorenzo, Chiang Kai Shek, La Salle College Antipolo, St. Scholastica's College, St. Stephen's High School, St. Jude Catholic School and University of Asia and the Pacific.

All members are required to participate in the basketball, volleyball, cheerdance (midgets) and cheerleading (seniors and juniors) events. Other events are badminton, futsal, taekwondo (poomsae & kyorugi), softball, swimming, lawn tennis and table tennis. A new event this season is hiphop dance.

Sr. Rosario, Alamillo and Pike was joined in the press conference by WNCAA secretary general Ma. Angelica Dela Cruz and executive director Maria Vivian Manila, commissioners Bryan Tabanag of basketball and Richie Gannaban of futsal and representatives of the 16 members schools.

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