Warriors ax player for commercial league stint
ANOTHER UAAP foreign player was caught playing in a commercial basketball league and the school he plays for has already cut him from the roster for good.
University of the East’s Moustapha Arafat, a 6-foot-6 Cameroonian center, saw action in a Marikina league last December, the same month La Salle’s Ben Mbala also played in a General Santos City tournament while still serving his residency.
Arafat already debuted for the Warriors last year, but the league only allows its players to suit up for commercial leagues after two seasons, and only upon approval of the school.
UE coach Derrick Pumaren, the coaching staff and the school did not wait for the UAAP to look into the issue, cutting Arafat immediately after their own probe. Arafat will no longer play for the Warriors.
“We cannot tolerate this,” said Pumaren. “He knew from the start that he cannot play. He knew he had to wait another year before he could play in a commercial league.”
Under league rules, Arafat faced a one-year ban for the infraction. But Pumaren said the school decided to let him go for good.
“We’re also sending a message that they’re student-athletes,” said Pumaren. “We don’t consider them as imports, we consider them as foreign students. They should realize that they’re not just here to play basketball, but also to study.”
Mbala would have been eligible to play for the Green Archers next season after serving a two-year residency. But after admitting that he saw action in a provincial tournament, Mbala may need to sit out one more year.
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