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Thompson, Amer, Jalalon give pros and cons of NCAA FSA ban

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Tiebreaker Times Thompson, Amer, Jalalon give pros and cons of NCAA FSA ban AU Basketball NCAA News SBC UPHSD  Scottie Thompson San Beda Seniors Basketball Prince Eze Perpetual Seniors Basketball Ola Adeogun NCAA Season 96 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 96 Kiefer Ravena Jio Jalalon Elie Ongolo-Ongolo Donald Tankoua Dioncee Holts Bright Akhuetie Baser Amer Arellano Seniors Basketball

By: Justin Valencia

Starting next season, foreign student-athletes (FSA) will be banned from competing in the NCAA, the country’s oldest collegiate league.

Season 96 Management Committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, O.P. even stated 10 reasons why the league decided to ban FSAs.

But for Season 90 MVP Scottie Thompson, this rule has its pros and cons for the league and its student-athletes.

“Siguro may positive thoughts, at the same time may negative din eh. Halo eh,” said the Perpetual alum in last Friday’s episode of The Prospects Pod, presented by SMART and supported by Chris Sports.

To start with the advantages of the ban, the Ginebra guard said it will give NCAA big men — who usually play under an FSA — the limelight they really deserve.

During his five years in Perpetual, Thompson played with Season 92 All-Star Game MVP Bright Akhuetie and Season 94 Season MVP Prince Eze.

However, with the exclusion of the imports, Thompson pointed out it will also take a toll on local big men’s toughness, stating that FSA helps lift the level of competition.

“‘Yung level nila, preparation coming to pro sa PBA, sa long-term career nila, parang bababa din.

“At the same time, ang laking tulong din sa mga big man natin na locals ‘yung may import kasi preparation nila, especially coming to the PBA,” Thompson continued.

Host Kiefer Ravena agreed and added that even to guards like him, FSAs help them get better competitively.

“Bilang atleta, gusto din natin makipag-compete sa mga foreign student-athletes kasi challenge ‘yun eh.”

Having imports on the collegiate level also prepares the local players heading into the professional ranks, where the players are bigger and stronger — not to mention there are import-laden conferences.

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“Hindi ka basta-basta makakapasok sa ilalim. Mas malalaki, mas malalakas ‘yung katawan so in a way, nape-prepare ‘yung adjustment mo sa laro pagdating mo sa pro kasi sa pro, local na ganon din kalalaki, ganon din kalalakas. At least hindi mahirap masyado ang adjustment,” said the NLEX combo guard, who played with Kirk Long and Chi Ikeh in Ateneo.

But with the league’s ManCom’s decision already final and here to stay, Baser Amer and Jio Jalalon shared what the players need to do.

Amer, who played with both Ola Adeogun and Donald Tankoua, won four seniors crowns. Meanwhile, Jalalon went to two NCAA Finals alongside Dioncee Holts and Elie Ongolo Ongolo.

“Para sa akin, wala tayong magagawa kasi decision nila ‘yun eh. Kung ano ‘yung decision nila, i-support na lang natin,” said Amer.

“Tulad nga ng sabi ni Amer, wala na tayong magagawa kasi ‘yun na ‘yung rule nila eh,” added Jalalon.

Ravena, though, still hopes for the league to lift the ban on the FSAs, for the main reason of these athletes are students first and foremost.

“Hopefully they can find something… Alam ko they can meet in the middle, na papayagan at the same time may mga rules na mama-maximize pa rin ‘yung mga local talents natin,” said the Ateneo alum, who hosts the show alongside journalists Norman Riego and Randolph Leongson.

“Siyempre ‘yung mga foreign student-athletes, mga estudyante lang din ‘yan… Gusto lang din nila maglaro at (makuha ‘yung) education din nila dito sa Pilipinas, na baka hindi nila nakukuha sa kung saan man sila galing.”

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