UAAP schools question eligibility of Slaughter, Parks
MANILA—The eligibility of National University’s Ray Parks and Ateneo’s Greg Slaughter is among the contentious issues the UAAP aims to resolve before the men’s basketball competition fires off on July 10.
League officials said yesterday that several member-schools have questioned the eligibility of rookies Parks and Slaughter, who showcased their impressive forms during the preseason.
Ateneo opens its campaign for a fourth straight championship minus last year’s Finals MVP Ryan Buenafe.
“He’s not in the lineup this year,” UAAP president Ricky Palou of host Ateneo said yesterday.
“Basically, he’s overweight. Coach Norman [Black] feels he won’t be able to contribute to the performance of the team this year. But he’s still with Ateneo.”
Season 74 gets going with the opening ceremony on July 9 at the Marikina Sports Complex. Basketball action starts the next day with a rematch of last year’s semifinalists at the Araneta Coliseum.
Palou and league secretary general Emmanuel Fernandez said the Olympic-style opening rites will feature a parade of athletes from all sports to show “that the UAAP is not just about basketball.”
The Blue Eagles, who ruled the FilOil Flying V Hanes summer tournament, tangle with the Adamson Falcons at 3 p.m., while last season’s runner-up Far Eastern University battles La Salle at 1 p.m.
“It’s always difficult to lose a player of Ryan Buenafe’s caliber,” Ateneo team manager Paolo Trillo said in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s UN Avenue.
“Our team will get affected; in a sense we’re losing an experienced player. But then, the success of Ateneo’s team [hinges on] teamwork.”
NU athletic director Junel Baculi, meanwhile, said that Parks, the son of seven-time Best Import Bobby Parks, has complied with league requirements.
“I give the UAAP board the right to decide on the eligibility of Ray, we’ll present the documents,” Baculi said. “Even without Ray, we’re competitive enough. But it will be added flavor for us if he can play.”
Certain member schools have questioned Parks’ one-year stay as the league requires a two-year residency for players who studied overseas.
There have also been questions on the case of Slaughter, the 6-foot-11 standout who saw action with the Smart Gilas national team. The league prohibits players serving their residency to suit up for other teams in commercial tournaments.
“It’s the national team, so we believe he’s eligible,” Palou said during the public sports forum sponsored by Smart, Shakey’s, Pagcor and Outlast Battery.
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