Two prized recruits may need to wait for two years before showcasing their wares in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
The league board recently amended a residency rule requiring foreigners and UAAP high school players transferring to a member-school for college to sit out for two years, thus delaying the debut of prospective transferees Jerie Pingoy and Ben Mbala.
“Most of the universities want to protect their high school programs,” Em Fernandez, the head of the league’s amendments committee, said yesterday. “It also covers foreigners.”
But the new rule amending the one-year residency requirement allows the transferees to play a maximum of five years in the league in all sports.
Pingoy has been the subject of a recruitment tug-of-war between Far Eastern University and Ateneo, which both sought the services of the FEU high school star.
Mbala, the Cameroonian center of Cebu champion Southwestern University, has also been tapped by La Salle.
“The UAAP wants to discourage mercenary behavior,” said Anton Montinola, FEU’s representative to the UAAP board. “Choosing your university is your right. Playing for your school in the UAAP is a privilege, not a right.”