MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP has added a new rule allowing student-athletes from other collegiate leagues, who played professionally with a special guest license (SGL) from the Games and Amusement Board, to still play in the basketball league after one year. residence.
League Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag announced that other athletes from the NCAA and other collegiate leagues, who have already played in the professional ranks through the SGL, will be allowed to play in the UAAP, but with restrictions.
“This is something new, regaining the eligibility, or as we call it, the amateur status, to go back to basketball in particular, but they are there,” Saguisag said in Filipino during the season press conference on Wednesday 86 in Mall. of Asia Arena. “One of them is that you have to serve a year of residency. Secondly, the number of years you played as a professional is also counted as playing years.”
However, UAAP continued to violate the rule that if a student-athlete from the eight schools plays in professional leagues such as the PBA, Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Football League, even with the SGL, he or she can no longer be eligible for his or her suitability. .
“Number three and most importantly, you cannot have enrolled at a UAAP member school before turning pro because the reasoning there is that if you have already played at one of these eight member schools, you are being constructively notified” , said Saguisag. “For example, you play for NU, then you decide to have an SGL, and your team has been advised and studied the consequences together with your coaches. I hope it is clear.”
“You may not earn (professionally) with SGL. But participating in a professional league does not make you eligible. You are not necessarily a pro, but you are not eligible to participate further in the UAAP. One of the reasons is not only because you earn, but in our view you also gain unnecessary advantage,” he added.
Saguisag said the league will evaluate its position for other events as the participation rules are basketball-oriented as they also allow the chess student-athletes to still play in the UAAP due to the status of the sport’s professional leagues in the country.
“For now, we continue to maintain that we will not recognize the special guest licenses as far as the PBA is concerned. We will think about the other sports that are not situated in the same way. We are evaluating our position on sports that are not exactly the same as the PBA. The point is that we realize that the rules are often basketball-oriented, and we have come up with different permutations per sporting event and per division that will be evaluated,” said the executive director.
“Maganda kasi tinahi yung chess. By nature, chess is a professional competition in its own right, professional competitions that play a major role in chess can bring many benefits. So why do they have to play the same way? In short, even without the SGL, if you participate in professional level chess competitions, you may be able to participate in the UAAP,” he added.
In the case of University of the Philippines newcomer Francis Lebron Lopez, who signed a contract with the American professional league Overtime Elite in 2021 but never played, Saguisag said the board unanimously agreed as the incoming rookie presented the documents and could show the evidence and never received any complaints from any affiliated school.
“Documents have been reviewed. Documents and available evidence were reviewed and eligibility was determined by the Eligibility Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. As per the internal rules and procedure, a Wala Namang complaint from any affiliated school can be filed and substantiated with evidence,” he said. “It was a collective decision by the board, not just for him, but for the hundreds of other student-athletes who were approved. Siya lang yung medyo high-profile, if you may. Walang evidence that he broke every eligibility rule.
“He is cleared to play this season, yes. As long as he has the playing years. Unless there is real evidence to the contrary that surfaces in the future. What we all know is that he couldn’t leave the Philippines, let alone play in any league. Even the status of the said league is yet to be determined. People call it professional, but what is it really? Even that needs to be carefully studied.”