College basketball in the Philippines is interesting because there is no singular governing body over the multiple leagues. However, this creates a lucrative Philippine college basketball betting environment because there are more games to bet on.
There are multiple leagues scattered throughout the Metro Manila area and beyond, though the two major leagues are the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
This page focuses on these two leagues since they are the top college basketball associations in the country. Here, you will find information on the teams in each league, how the leagues work, basketball betting insight, and more.
Is It Legal To Bet On College Basketball In The Philippines?
Filipino residents can legally place bets on collegiate basketball through licensed and regulated offshore sportsbooks. Philippine gambling laws restrict domestic online sportsbooks (i.e. POGOs) from residents and citizens, so offshore sportsbooks present the best viable option for sports wagering.
As long as the sportsbook you are using is both licensed and regulated by their home government outside of the Philippines, you are legally allowed to use it to place real-money college basketball bets.
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NCAA Basketball in the Philippines
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of the Philippines was established in 1924. It is not associated with the NCAA located in the United States (though you can also bet on that NCAA at offshore sportsbooks, if you closely follow the American game).
The Philippine NCAA is the oldest athletic organization in the country and is based in the Metro Manila area. The league currently features 10 teams. The current teams in the Philippines NCAA basketball league are:
- Arellano University Chiefs
- Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights
- De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde Blazers
- Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals
- Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers
- Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates
- Mapua University Cardinals
- San Beda University Red Lions
- San Sebastian College – Recoletos Golden Stags
- University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Atlas
UAAP Basketball in the Philippines
The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) was born out of a secession from the NCAA back in the early days of collegiate sports. Various member schools of the NCAA decided it would be better to break up the league in order to promote fairer competition. National University (NU), the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP), and the University of Santo Thomas (UST) seceded from the league.
Eventually, those three programs, along with support from the Philippines Alumni Association and the Philippine Amateur Athletic Association, formed the UAAP in 1938. The league took a break during WWII and started back up shortly thereafter. Several new programs joined in the following years. The following eight schools are the current members of the UAAP:
- Adamson University Soaring Falcons
- Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles
- De La Salle University Green Archers
- Far Eastern University Tamaraws
- National University Bulldogs
- University of the East Red Warriors
- University of the Philippines Diliman Fighting Maroons
- University of Santo Thomas Growling Tigers
Typical College Basketball Tournament Format In The Philippines
Most leagues follow the same tournament format when it comes to collegiate basketball. Tournaments are typically double elimination, where the top four teams advance to the semifinals. The top two seeded teams have a twice-to-beat advantage, meaning they only need to win once while their opponents must win twice. The finals are conducted in a best-of-three series format.
Philippine Collegiate Champions League
In 2002, the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) was put together. Think of it like the UEFA Champions League but for basketball. 250 teams come from all over the Philippines to compete, including smaller regional clubs. Out of these 250 teams, eight teams advance to the final playoffs of the tournament. UAAP and NCAA teams typically dominate the PCCL.
The PCCL features both 3×3 and 5×5 competitions broken down by region. The participating leagues are from Metro Manila (NCAA and UAAP), North/Central Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and the championship series is called the National Collegiate Championship, or NCC.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles of the UAAP are the current defending champions in the NCC 5×5 competition. The teams with the most championships are as follows:
- Ateneo Blue Eagles (4)
- FEU Tamaraws (3)
- San Beda Red Lions (2)
- La Salle Green Archers (2)
- UE Red Warriors (2)
- San Sebastian Golden Stags (1)
- UST Growling Tigers (1)
- Lyceum Pirates (1)
Betting On College Basketball In The Philippines
College basketball lines are similar to what you would find for professional leagues like the PBA or NBA. The most common betting format is wagering on the point spread. This is when oddsmakers pick a team to win by a certain number of points in order to balance the action.
For example, a sportsbook could have the Ateneo Blue Eagles as a 7.5-point favorite against the Lyceum Pirates. If the Eagles win by 8 or more, they win the bet, and if the Pirates lose by 7 or less (or win outright), they win the bet.
Another common wagering type is the money line, where you just pick a team to win outright with no regard for the point spread. Totals bets are betting on whether the final combined score will be higher or lower than the number assigned by the oddsmaker, and prop betting has to do with statistical performances of individual players and teams within a given game.
Futures betting is also popular, as bettors can place wagers on the team they think will win the tournament outright. Make your bets early enough, and the payouts can be massive!
Can I Bet On Collegiate Basketball In The Philippines From My Phone?
Yes. Licensed offshore sportsbooks have mobile suites that run via iPhone, Android, and other device web browsers. There is no app download required, and you can access these mobile betting experiences via Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.
Mobile sportsbooks feature the same lines, wagering types, and customer support options as their desktop counterparts. All of the visual and functional elements are kept consistent thanks to responsive design technology, and most modern mobile platforms are supported. All you need is an Internet connection!