Juan Gomez de Liaño’s return to the University Athletic Association of the Philippines has come under question after he played in pro league Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 last month.
The incoming senior Fighting Maroon obtained a special guest license from the Games and Amusements Board, which allows amateurs to play in pro leagues. Still, it depends on the league if it will honor it.
“We don’t want to impose on the UAAP and the NCAA. They’re not under us. We respect them, we work with them, we look up to them,” said GAB chairman Baham Mitra.
GAB’s legal division head Atty. Elmer Benitez disclosed the process of obtaining an SGL last Friday during an alignment conference between the agency and UAAP’s counterpart National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Benitez said that the student-athlete must first submit notice to their school. Then the school will recommend it to the NCAA. After that, the NCAA will give its consent to GAB, which will approve the license and give it to the student-athlete.
According to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation, University of the Philippines and Gomez de Liaño did not go through this process.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas officials told Tiebreaker Times that the 20-year-old submitted his SGL application form on October 11.
GAB officials inside Inspire Academy then printed and gave Gomez de Liaño’s provisionary license on October 14 — the day Nueva Ecija arrived in the bubble.
For its part, UP notified the UAAP’s Board of Managing Directors that one of its student-athletes availed of an SGL only on October 22, according to league insiders.
The Gomez de Liaño family, though, had already told UP that Juan would play in the pro league as a special guest player a full two months before the President’s Cup.
With this, it seems like Gomez de Liaño will no longer be eligible to come back and don the colors of the Fighting Maroons again.