University Athletic Association of the Philippines

University Athletic Association of the Philippines
Current season, competition or edition:
UAAP Season 81
Founded 1938
President Michael M. Alba, Ph.D.
(Far Eastern University)
No. of teams 8
Country  Philippines
Venue(s) Metro Manila
Most titles

Seniors' division:
 UST Growling Tigers (42 titles)

Juniors' division:
 UST Tiger Cubs (19 titles)
National Collegiate Athletic Association

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 (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.

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.[2]

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, Adamson University, Manila Central University, University of the East, and University of Manila were granted two-year probationary membership to the UAAP. After the two-year probationary period, UE was permanently accepted 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.

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.


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:


  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


La Salle
FEU Diliman
Smart Araneta Coliseum
Filoil Flying V Arena
Philsports Complex
Rizal Sports Complex
Mall of Asia Arena
Locations of UAAP schools within Metro Manila

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, swimming, fencing and track and field have Boys' and Girls' divisions. Basketball, football, baseball, table tennis, chess, have a Boys' division only.

Planned 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 76 (2013–14), only five sports in the seniors division have a complete roster from the eight member schools. These sports are basketball, indoor and beach volleyball, badminton, and chess. In the juniors, only basketball and chess have full participation. High School Basketball Girls and Futsal Senior Division will be added soon in season 80.

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), fencing (women) and athletics (men and 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.[11]

1st semester sports (September–December)

2nd semester sports (January–May)



School colors of Ateneo and UP.

A rivalry between the Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines 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,[12] 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.[13] 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.

Ateneo–La Salle rivalry

School colors of
Ateneo and La Salle

The rivalry between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University has resulted in sold-out games (specially 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.[14]

UP–UST cheerdance rivalry

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 talked about rivalries in UAAP history. Since the inception of the cheerdance, UP and UST have had the best winning records, and one is usually just a runner up to the other. 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 including 5 of the last 6 cheerdance competitions since 2007. Since 2010, the rivalry turned into a friendly one as both UP and UST supporters cheered their school cheers during the announcement of winners.[15]

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".[16][17] UST is the sole pontifical university in the country wherein Pope Pius XII gave it the title "The Catholic University of the Philippines".[18] UP, on the other hand, has been declared by the Philippine government as the country's "national university".[19]

La Salle–UST rivalry

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 at the expense of the Green Archers. In 1999, La Salle defeated the Growling Tigers to win the basketball crown. Their basketball rivalry diminished in latter years due to UST's decline but became a celebrated rivalry in women's volleyball, as the Lady Archers and the Tigresses met three times in the championship of the Shakey's V-League tournament with UST having 5 championships and La Salle having 3 under their belt.[20] The rivalry was carried over to the UAAP. The DLSU Lady Spikers and the UST Tigresses met in the finals for two consecutive seasons—Season 72 and Season 73.

FEU–UE rivalry

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).[21]

La Salle-FEU rivalry

School colors of
La Salle and FEU

The rivalry was sparked when the 1991 Final when La Salle's final game win was protested by the FEU after a Green Archer was admitted into the playing court after being disqualified. The UAAP Board upheld the protest and ordered the replay. La Salle did not show up, claiming to have won legitimately, and FEU was awarded the trophy. 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.[22]

The rivalry between DLSU and this Morayta-based university 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.[23]

UAAP championships


Note: The telecast for RPN and PTV were produced by "Silverstar Sports", a production company founded by Louis Kierulf.[24]

See also


  1. Malonso, Julian. "History". NCAA. NCAA Philippines. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  2. Jerusalem, Dan. "The Evolution of the UAAP". The LaSallian. De La Salle University. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  3. "History". About AdU. Adamson University. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  4. "History". About Us. Ateneo de Manila University. Archived from the original on May 10, 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  5. "Overview". Facts & Figures. De La Salle University. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  6. "The FEU Story". About FEU. Far Eastern University. Archived from the original on February 28, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  7. "History". National University. National University. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  8. "A Brief History of the University of the East". About the University. University of the East. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  9. "About UP". About UP. University of the Philippines. Archived from the original on October 2, 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  10. "History". About UST. University of Santo Tomas. Archived from the original on December 22, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  11. Ganglani, Naveen. "UAAP 78 to open on Sept 5 – FEU athletic director". Rappler. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  12. Eric C. Abenojar and Paula V. Peralta (2004-10-07). "Tradition continues: The Eagle and The Archer". The GUIDON.
  13. Ateneo Songs and Cheers Ateneo de Manila University official website. May 2, 2006
  14. Bartholomew, Rafael (September 23, 2007). "A Nation's Passion Lives in a Rivalry of Green vs. Blue". New York Times. Retrieved September 2008. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  15. Flores, Karen (September 16, 2010). "'UP-UST friendship' emerges after cheerdance competition". ABS-CBN Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  16. News, ABS-CBN. "UP-UST game sends netizens abuzz". Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  17. "UP vs UST 'Church vs State' match evokes battles of years past". Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  18. "History". Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines. UST. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  19. "Republic Act No. 9500". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  20. "La Salle, UST duel for volleyball title". Manila Bulletin. February 21, 2010. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  21. Mendoza, Shielo. "FEU Tamaraws". College Hoops. Yahoo Southeast Asia. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  22. "Philippine UAAP – Rivalries".
  23. "Dissecting Rivalries La Salle versus Ateneo, UST, and FEU". The LaSallian. October 26, 2015.
  24. Catacutan, Dodo (September 23, 2016). "Meet the man who first put an entire UAAP basketball season on television". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Summit Digital. Retrieved September 25, 2016.

Team Support Sites

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