Starting this year, the NCAA will implement the new numbering system already put in place by FIBA or the International Basketball Federation the year before.

NCAA Management Committee chair Jose Mari Lacson of Season 92 host San Beda yesterday said the league board has approved the use of numbers 00 to 99 when the season opens on June 25 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

“This is in line with the FIBA rules on jersey numbers and the NCAA will implement it this season,” said Lacson.

Before its implementation, the league allows only numbers starting from No. 4 to as high as No. 18 depending on the number of players allowed by the league to be fielded in by participating teams every season.

Now, players will have all the numbers they can choose.

The decision also came after San Beda’s decision retiring the No. 14 of the late Filipino basketball great and alumnus Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga during the opening rights of the oldest collegiate league in the country today.

Defending champion Letran renews its rivalry with last year’s losing finalist San Beda in the 4 p.m. main game of the opening day double-header that also features an equally exciting showdown between Jose Rizal and Mapua, which both made it to the Final Four the season before, at 2 p.m.

Andy Jao is the new commissioner, taking over from Arturo “Bai” Cristobal.

Organizers also promised a big opening number that will be choreographed by Roxanne Lapus and directed by Douglas Nierras to jumpstart the season set to unfold at 12:30 p.m.