Saddened Alberto accepts UAAP ruling on eligibility
For a month now, Dan Alberto and the UE Red Warriors were bracing for the worst.
Seeing an irregularity with the 22-year-old’s playing years, coach Derrick Pumaren sought the UAAP Board and asked the eligibility committee to convene on Alberto’s eligibility.
“Just to be sure that he has not exhausted all of his playing years, we sought the UAAP eligibility committee to check it,” Pumaren said.
And on Monday, the law has been laid down.
Alberto will not play in Season 78, along with Ateneo’s Hubert Cani and La Salle’s Ben Mbala, after the Board ruled that he had already suited up for all of the five allowable playing years.
The 5-foot-10 guard represented the Our Lady of Fatima University in National Athletic Association of Schools Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) for two years before transferring to UE.
The Alberto ban was the latest in the string of tough breaks UE has suffered in the offseason, together with the departures of Roi Sumang, Charles Mammie, and Moustapha Arafat.
Though saddened by the decision, Alberto just took everything in stride.
“Sa akin, ni-ready ko lang ‘yung sarili ko if ma-approve o hindi ‘yung decision. ‘Yung buong hapon ng Lunes, naghintay lang ako ng tawag at nung mga 6 p.m., tumawag na nga si coach,” he said.
(For my part, I just readied myself whether it gets approved or not. All Monday afternoon, I just waited for a call, and at about 6 p.m., coach called me up,)
Still blessed, confident
Alberto received the bad news in disappointment, more so because he was supposed to be fielded as a co-captain of this year’s Red Warriors squad. But he knew that something better is in store for him still.
“I just took it as a blessing and God still has a better plan for me,” he said. “Di naman matatapos ang buhay ko sa UAAP eh (My life won’t end in the UAAP.).”
Alberto expressed confidence in UE’s ability to surprise a lot of teams despite parading an all-Filipino roster this year.
“Kumpyansa ako sa teammates ko. Grabe ang pinagdaanan namin sa offseason. Yung hard work at disiplina, nakikita kong magbubunga this UAAP,” said Alberto.
(I have confidence in my teammates. We went through a lot in the offseason. I believe the hard work and discipline will bear fruit this UAAP.)
“Nakakalungkot lang na di ako makakatulong sa kanila, but I’m here to support,” Alberto added, as he continued to participate in team practice and works with Pumaren to assist in coaching.
(It’s sad that I can’t help them, but I’m here to support.)
Without Alberto, UE will be leaning on Chris Javier, RR de Leon and Paul Varilla, as the Recto-based squad parades nine rookies in this season’s roster.
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