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Sen. Pia Cayetano lambasts UAAP board for enforcing residency rule on Cani



Just yesterday, the UAAP board sent shockwaves that will be felt all-year long after declaring Ben Mbala, Hubert Cani, and Dan Alberto ineligible to play for their respective schools in Season 78.

The three student-athletes were declared ineligible for various reasons. Ben Mbala will not be able to play for DLSU for playing in an outside league while serving his residency year, forcing Mbala to sit out one more season. Dan Alberto was deemed unable to play for UE, having exhausted his senior playing years. Alberto played for one year in the Seniors division of NAASCU, and four years for the UE Red Warriors.

Hubert Cani of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, on the other hand, is being forced to sit out another year after the UAAP board determined that Senator Pia Cayetano’s bill on Residency and Commercialization (Senate Bill no. 2226), takes effect on September 18, 2015, 13 days after the start of the UAAP.

Upon being made aware of the decision of Cani’s eligibility, Senator Pia Cayetano released a statement lambasting the “arrogance and immaturity” of the UAAP board. Her full statement is as follows:

“The UAAP Board has once more displayed its arrogance and immaturity by invoking its unjust two-year residency rule against a high school student-athlete who has transferred to a different school in college. This is the very same UAAP rule that an RTC court struck down two years ago in favor of swimmer Mikee Bartolome. In the case of basketball player Hubert Cani, he has even served ONE YEAR of RESIDENCE already and was hoping to play this season.

It is irrelevant that the Student-Athletes Protection Bill has not been signed by the president YET. The UAAP must respect a student-athlete’s right to study and play for the school of his choice. The UAAP is not a commercial but an amateur league. The UAAP Board should stop treating student-athletes like commodities.


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