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The New UAAP Rule: Yan ba ang “the best”?

Thursday, 18 April 2013 4,503 Views / 43 Comments

In the past few years, friends and acquaintances argued with me on which basketball league is the best.

Many favor the UAAP because of its high quality of basketball and a gazillion other attractions. To a certain extent, I agree. But for me, some of the decisions that the UAAP has made in recent times have tarnished it, at least for the time being.

Officiating has been a constant UAAP problem, as have, and maybe more so, questionable verdicts on issues involving certain players, plays, and regulations.

Most of those who give a hoot about the goings-on in college/university basketball have shared their thoughts on the latest issue – the two-year ban on “transferees” (the rule) – and I will throw out some ideas as well on the matter.

To put it simply, I do not like it. There used to be a one-year ban, and now it is two years. Either way, I think it stinks.

Parity – that’s the word that people in support of the ban like to use to justify the rule. Investment – that’s another word that schools have used to defend their position in voting “aye” for the rule. Ridiculous – that’s the word I use against them.

I agree with everyone who has opposed the rule, including Senadora Pia Cayetano, who even bothered to hold a hearing on the rule because she believes that the proponents of said rule are missing the point.

Unfortunately, these proponents, except for one, declined the invitation of the good Senadora to participate in the discussion.

Former PBA referee Vic Bartolome, who testified on behalf of his daughters, both swimmers who may be affected by the rule, is a friend of mine, and I feel his disappointment.

There have been so many arguments thrown into the conversation, and many are valid, especially those from persons who oppose the rule.

I need not discuss them one by one here, but I must declare that the right to choose what university to attend is something that a high school graduate should not be deprived of, whether or not he or she is an athlete.

If one is indeed an athlete and desires to play his or her desired sport in university, then that should be part and parcel of passing the entrance exam and surviving the tryouts (if required) or being “recruited.” To say that playing the sport in university is “not a right, but merely a privilege” is highly irresponsible and arrogant.

If you qualify to study at the particular university, and, in connection with that, make the team as well, then you should be able to play, and play immediately.

Take note that I advocate for the abolition of the ban, but likewise espouse stringent rules for athletes entering university from whichever high school. The athlete must pass the entrance exam and must maintain a good academic standing, as well as perform in his sport within the parameters or guidelines set by his coaching staff, to remain a student-athlete.

One of the most meaningful statements came from a law school classmate of mine, who is very much against the rule. Via Twitter, he said that those who proposed, passed, or support the rule are doing so on the wrong premise.

How can they consider going from high school to university a “transfer”, when after you graduate from high school, you should be free to choose your own university or college? Good point, Atty Aquino (no relation to the President). I agree. The fact that you have to take an entrance exam to move up to university shows that it’s a different entity altogether – there is no guaranteed continuity.

The rule exhibits a level of compulsion that, to many, is unacceptable. I pity those who choose to attend a university with a different name from their high school since they have to sit out two years. But, I also pity those who “stay” with their school for university, since they may not really want to be there anyway. They just want to be able to play immediately.

In the latest post on her website (, Senator Cayetano manifested her disappointment that, despite the hearing she chaired on 01 April 2013, the UAAP Board still chose to uphold its decision to implement the rule immediately. She believes that the rule “denies athletes of their rights to develop their full potential and is an unreasonable limitation on an athlete’s freedom of choice as well as academic freedom to choose which [university] to enter into.”

She further stated that students “must be given the choice of which school they think will maximize their skills and prepare them best for their future.”

Senator Cayetano ended by saying that she “will continue to fight” and “will not hesitate to take this issue to court.”

This last statement is important, because, while the Senate is actually powerless to do anything about the rule since the hearing it conducted is merely “in aid of legislation”, or with the view of making laws to address the problem, if any, the courts can actually do something if indeed certain rights are being trampled upon by the said rule.

I have wondered out loud to friends in the sportswriting circle why affected parties have not gone to the powers that be, those who regulate universities (CHED?), or to the courts for a determination of whether basic freedoms are being curtailed with the implementation of the rule. This could get very interesting, and I hope it does.

The UAAP Board said that it will still issue guidelines/implementing rules. What can these implementing rules possibly do to change the situation? Will there be exceptions to the ban? Are clarifications necessary? Hopefully something good comes out when the implementing rules are issued, but as it is right now, the rule is in place and will be implemented already.

Everyone who “transferred” this summer, sorry, you cannot play in the UAAP, the supposed “best league”, for two years.

I’m sure the fans will still watch the UAAP games, especially in basketball, this coming season. The venues will be filled, especially when Ateneo and La Salle go at it.

But, there will be many would be student-athletes who will just be sitting at home, or maybe attending the games in person if they can stand it, who will have to content themselves with just cheering for their “new” school, because they are banned from playing in the UAAP events for two whole years. Yan ba ang “the best”?

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Charlie is a rare breed. As a 4 year PBA broadcasting veteran, take your pick, he can be a color commentator or your regular anchorman at any time and place. And best of all, he is a lawyer by profession. Charlie is an avid sports fan from baseball, football, soccer and American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis and boxing. With his tough exterior, this guy also has his soft spot. Charlie loves going to the zoo and has a passion for dogs. You can also rely on Charlie on some rare finds from the 70's and 80's such as magazines and all you need to know about basketball in that decade. And every time you need beer company, Charlie's the man. You can follow Charlie Cuna on Twitter @CharlieC


  • Knightstrike says:

    ‘In the past few years, friends and acquaintances argued with me on which basketball league is the best.

    Many favor the UAAP because of its high quality of basketball and a gazillion other attractions.’


    Well, UAAP Seniors teams take away the talents from NCAA Juniors so what do you expect?

    And don’t get started on UAAP Junior teams, they are lightyears away from those in the NCAA.

    • Anti-heat says:

      And are you now blaming the UAAP schools for taking those from the NCAA Juniors? Guess what it happens in the NBA and every other league out there. If you want to keep your players then step up and give them a reason to stay.

  • wye says:

    I think the UAAP has the right to choose who to play in THEIR games and who to give THEIR scholarships to, right?

  • 123456 says:


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  • Tyrios says:

    The question is this:

    Why now, Anton Montinola?

    • a says:

      Because Montinola just lost Jerie Pingoy to the Ateneo thus this is called the Pingoy Rule. The Soc Rivera rule was Montinola’s creation after losing Rivera to UP.

      Wait until Montinola loses another blue chip high schooler to another UAAP school.

  • Sonny Clu says:

    The 2 year residency rule: A victory of greed over academic freedom

  • UAAP is La Salle-Ateneo says:

    The UAAP is Ateneo-La Salle. Without these two schools the UAAP would have remained a blue collar league. Without Ateneo and La Salle, there is not glamour to speak about in the UAAP.

    So all you freeloaders in the UAAP, stand in line. Know your place.

    • you mean the same la salle that voted for the rule?

      • UAA is La Salle-Ateneo says:

        Of course. Can’t you see the two schools are on the opposite side of the fence, freeloader?

        • you’re contradicting what you’re saying. :) dls-adm is uaap yet they’re on opposite sides of the fence? elitist prick. haha

          • UAAP is La Salle-Ateneo says:

            Duh. The contradiction between the 2 schools is the only thing that really matters in the UAAP, freeloader.

            Elitist? You freeloaders benefit from our elitism, prick.

    • jepsky says:

      eh kung ganyan ang view mo bakit hindi na lang kaya kayo gumawa ng sarili nyong liga, yun kayong dalawa lang magkalaban araw-araw tignan natin kung hanggang kelan kayo tatagal at kung gaano karami ang tatangkilik sa inyo.

  • C says:

    Bakit nnmn c Montinola nnmn n damay ehh nsa inyo n nga c PINGGOY!

    • Anonymouse says:

      Dahil obvious na siya ang pasimuno ng kalokohang ito at ng iba pang kalokohang residency rules para makaganti sa Ateneo na ninanakaw daw ang kanyang mga “investments”?

      • UAAP is La Salle-Ateneo says:

        Hey, don’t Padre Damaso of UST. The rule is in their best interest according the the Priest. Right, Padre Damaso, from the uber freeloading school of…whatever.

  • bystander says:

    Ridiculous may seems such a strong word but that’s exactly how it is.

    Imagine a player from the junior ranks who graduates from high school. What if the seniors team doesn’t need him because the position he plays is filled up? Mind you, he will now have to contend not only with holdovers to the team but fresh recruits from other leagues as well. At best, he would languish in his school’s team-b where, hopefully, he can at least have scholarship. What if not? Yet, any other school who might be interested in him would be discouraged simply because of the long residency rule.

    And what if the college course he wants is not available in his school and the only way he could continue to study is through a sports scholarship. He is essentially barred from pursuing his dreams? In this regard, I call to attention the “supposed” objective of rearing “student-athletes” who are students first, athletes second. Yet, with this rule placing these individuals as “investments”, we can throw away all pretenses! If we treat these people as commodities, soon, we will be left with mercenaries.

  • zestyzeta says:

    Can students and basketball players boycott the opening of the UAAP Games and all succeeding games until they withdraw the rule. Its time to identify with all the athletes now and the athletes of the future. Rivera and Pinggoy simply unveiled the true characters of Mintonola and company. I honestly think that even the parents and alumni will join.


  • cubtoeagle_cubtoarcher says:

    i feel bad for those red cubs. as you may know, my school is the factory mill of other schools, whether ateneo, nu, la salle. the ones not in the red lion line-up have positioned themselves to be recruited by the top basketball schools in uaap, and you are depriving these ex-cubs to play and dominate. can you imagine if this rules was applied before. stars like benjie, magsanoc, altamirano, casio, tenorio, ritualo, monasterio had to sit out their freshman and soph years. it was convenient for la salle now, bec they have slowed down on recruting ex-red cubs, but before they were notorious of pirating san beda players.

    • Spectator says:

      La Salle has not slowed down in recruiting Red Cubs, recent Red Cubs are just more loyal and the program of the Red Lions simply improved in the last few years thus more Red Cubs are staying with the Red Lions. There are talks that this early they are already targeting a hot prospect from our Red Cubs even if he still has a year to play for our Red Cubs. That is probably the reason why La Salle voted for the two year “greedy” rule since most of their recruits are pirated mostly from NCAA and non UAAP schools.

      • Anti-heat says:

        I’m totally against this selfish new rule but for the past few years no UAAP team has been able to snag a major NCAA star especially from San Beda. Goltadera? Well he is sort of a blue chip recruit but no disrespect to him, you can’t compare him to Baser Amer. San Beda is now making sure that they are in a position to keep their homegrown stars.

        • Spectator says:

          Hi anti heat I beg to disagree, guys like Salamat,Lee,Buenafe,Vosotros,Andrada,Reyes,Bringas were former Staglets. Have you forgoten in the last UAAP finals, two of the main protagonist, Mariano (UST) and Salva (Ateneo)the finals MVP were former Red Cubs. What about LA Revilla of La Salle and Chris Javier of UE, remember his pair of game winning shots, one over Ateneo? All four former Red Cubs are starters for their UAAP teams. Put these four players together and add another former Red Cub like Montecastro of UP or Belleza of UE or Afuang of UST and you have a starting five which can take on any UAAP team. If FEU can’t get over the lost of two players, Soc Rivera, a few years back and Gerry Pingoy which triggered the Soc and Gerry Pingoy rules, just imagine if these former Red Cubs were Baby Tams( not to mention the long list of former Red Cubs like Tenorio, Casio, etc), I won’t be surprised if Mr Anton will go crazy and clamor to replace the Soc 1 year and Gerry 2 years residency rule with a “montinola total ban rule” ha ha.

          • Anti-heat says:

            I’m aware of these players. Ok I should’ve said past 3 years I guess. Also aside from Buenafe and Bringas none of the other players are what you can call prized recruits. Recruits who had multiple schools going after them.

    • jepsky says:

      sama mo rin mga players namin sa list mo like gumatay, ballesteros, ejercito,telan, hubalde,ortiguera, aguilar, alejandro to name a few..

      • Da Best UAAP says:

        Isama mo na din ang mga players ng Letran at Baste. Ano daw sabi nila? To protect their High School programs? To prepare the HS grads for University? Ganun ba kahina ulo ng HS players na lumilipat ng paaralan sa UAAP. Sus!

    • Spinning Back Fist says:

      La Salle is actually setting a disturbing trend: Hoarding High school superstars then bolt out years later. Gab Banal, Ponso Gotladera, Dan Sara, Mac Tallo, Tata Marata, a Point Guard named Tolentino, Nico Elorde.

      • Anti-heat says:

        It’s these players who bolted out from La Salle and not going to blame them for the lack of development and playing time they got. Majority of them were recruited during the Dindo Pumaren era which offered zero development and inconsistent playing time. I don’t know why you claim it to be “disturbing” even college players from the US do it.

    • 123456 says:

      Conclusion: FEU ought to behave like SBC, proud to be a source and channel of Basketball Talents.


      …. as they say

      • Bedan says:

        We take pride in the accomplishments of fellow Bedans who went to Ateneo, La Salle, UP or any other school for that matter. At the same token, many of these Bedans who left the Lion’s Den would sing the Bedan Hymn with us after the competition.

        As much as we would like to keep them, they have to decide for themselves. That’s the student-athletes prerogative. They have the freedom to choose their school.

  • Mysterious Blue Eagle Man 97 says:

    Actually, I don’t think Pingoy is going to suffer. Ateneo has other basketball programs.

    The real victims are the NON-STARS from the high school teams. So now, a moderate player who can’t make it to the FEU line-up can’t even try his luck elsewhere? What if UP offered him a scholarship? Eh Ayaw din naman sa kanya ng FEU kaso no school can get him.

    • Spectator says:

      Former HS players not offered scholarship or included in the college lineup of the school from which they graduated should automatically be exempted from this greedy rule.

      • Mysterious Blue Eagle Man 97 says:

        Better yet. abolish this greedy school.

        Kawawa din yung mga non-basketball athletes.
        Yung ibang sports, limited lang ang shelf life mo.
        After college, wala na. So this rule essentially makes them end their sporting career early.

        The NCAA schools should take advantage of this and RAID the UAAP high schools. Para matauhan.

    • 123456 says:

      Pingoy will not suffer primarily because he will get a good education iff he appropriates the Jesuit Education to himself.

  • Green arrow says:

    Why is Anton Montinola surprised when Pingoy chose ADMU, he himself also chose ADMU. Was he paid to choose ADMU?

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  • You should know the real reason why such rule was made wad to stop uaap from being commercialized.

    Plus the new rule has a release clause meaning if you did not do anything bad in your former school then you can play after just one year if residence if im not mistaken.

    This is the only way uaap can protect its own league from piracy and unethical behaviour of some people.

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