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UAAP Pass-Through: Mbala, Cani, Alberto ineligible for Season 78



The 78th season of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is still a few weeks away but yesterday’s board of representatives’ meeting sent shockwaves to every school involved.

Here is a summary of the agendas tackled by the UAAP board yesterday:

Ben Mbala

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times UAAP Pass-Through: Mbala, Cani, Alberto ineligible for Season 78

The 20-year-old Cameroonian student-athlete Benoit Mbala is set to sit out another year for the De La Salle University Green Archers based on a voting by the UAAP board yesterday.

Mbala, a transferee from Southwestern University, has already served two years of residency and should have been eligible to play in the 78th season of the UAAP. However, controversy arose as the 6’7 forward/center played in a commercial league game last December 2014 at General Santos City.

According to the UAAP rulebook, any rookie or transferee that is serving residency cannot play in a commercial league (league with compensation). If he/she does, it will result to another year of residency. The only exemption to the rule is when a student-athlete, who is already playing in the UAAP, can only be allowed to play in a commercial league if the school permits him/her to (i.e. PBA D-League).

According to a source who requested anonymity, the voting went as follows: Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines voted to let Mbala play, Far Eastern University abstained, while all the other school representatives’ barred the foreign student-athlete to be lined-up this season.

As a result, Mbala has to sit out another year but is still eligible to play for four years in the league starting Season 79.

Huber Cani

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times UAAP Pass-Through: Mbala, Cani, Alberto ineligible for Season 78

Hubert Cani with Jerie Pingoy (from Cani’s Facebook Page)

Hubert Cani, on the other hand, was also not allowed to play this season.

Former National University Bullpup Hubert Cani enrolled to the Ateneo de Manila University last 2014. However, due to the two-year residency rule, National University did not release Cani that forced the point guard to sit out two years.

Last June 10, 2015, Senator Pia Cayetano ratified Senate Bill no. 2226. Section 5 in Cayetano’s bill states that “The Student-Athlete shall be free from any act of restriction or punishment by the old and/or the new school due to his transfer from the former to the latter.

However, the Bill has yet to be signed by the President. Under the law, any law unsigned by the president will take into effect, signed or not, after 100 days. In this case, it will take into effect at September 18, 2015, 13 days after the UAAP starts.

Yesterday, National University representatives Nilo Ocampo and Chito Loyzaga brought up that the law will not take effect on the current student-athletes serving the two-year residency rule. This is based on the 1987 Constitution which states that no ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted (Article III, Section II). In this case, the case of Hubert Cani shall not be retroactive to the law.

A source from Ateneo said that they are appealing the decision in saying that retroactivity should not be involved in the case of student-athletes serving their last year of residency this year as Bill no. 2226 states that the two-year residency rule is unconstitutional and against public policy (making the residency rule void).

When asked for a comment, the office of Senator Pia Cayetano said that they are looking at the situation.

Dan Alberto

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times UAAP Pass-Through: Mbala, Cani, Alberto ineligible for Season 78

Supposed-University of the East men’s basketball team captain, Dan Alberto was also declared ineligible to play for the 78th season of the UAAP.

The injured Alberto was deemed to have exhausted all his playing collegiate playing years according to the UAAP board. Dan Alberto played one year in the Seniors division for the Our Lady of Fatima University.

After playing a year in NAASCU and four years in the UAAP, Alberto is no longer eligible to play collegiate basketball due to the five-playing-year rule.

[ERRATUM: It was first stated that Dan Alberto played one year in the Juniors division of the NAASCU. NAASCU rules differ from the NCAA and the UAAP in separating their juniors (below 18 y/o) and seniors division based on age groups. Alberto played a year for the Our Lady of Fatima University. But according to Anthony Servinio, that is not the case since Alberto played in the Seniors division of NAASCU]