‘NC’ U-turn: Four barred Cardinals get reprieveBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE FOUR players of Mapua who were earlier disqualified by the NCAA due to residency issues yesterday got a reprieve when the league’s policy board granted their appeal to have their documents checked again by the management committee.
NCAA management committee chair Fr. Vic Calvo last night said rookies Gab Banal, Joseph Eriobu, Jessie Saitanan and Mark Braña may only join the Cardinals if they pass the screening again after the school submits their grades in the just-concluded semester.
Mapua has a four-semester school year, and a reliable source said the league earlier ruled that the four players were ineligible because they haven’t completed residency requirement.
The school’s fourth semester was not yet finished when the season started.
“The four Mapua players are subject to eligibility requirements of the NCAA,” said Calvo. “If they pass, they can play.”
The Cardinals hold a 2-1 record, after winning two straight games since their opening-day setback to Jose Rizal U.
Meanwhile, JRU guard Nate Matute has been named the first recipient of the NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week after propelling the Heavy Bombers to a 3-0 start.
The 24-year-old Filipino-American point guard from Hanford, California, registered consecutive personal-best scoring performances in the first two weeks of the season, averaging 25 points a game spiked by an impressive 15-of-23 three-point shooting.
Matute bested the likes of Mapua’s Josan Nimes and reigning MVP Calvin Abueva of San Sebastian Stags for the citation, also sponsored by Accel 3XVI.
Matute waxed hot against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, finishing with a career-high 30 points in the Bombers’ 90-79 victory last Thursday.
“I’m more experienced now,” said Matute. “I know how to relax and I’m just letting the game come in to me.”