Thursday evening, the National University Bulldogs secured the commitment of Gilas cadet Troy Rike. Though it created excitement among the Nationalians, it also triggered questions among the rest of the league.
What makes Rike eligible for the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament? How come Rike will not serve residency? What is the difference between his case and the other transferees that need to sit out one year?
For starters, the 6-foot-7 Gilas cadet is just 22 years old, three years below the UAAP cut off of 25 years old. He played in Wake Forest University for four years — making him eligible to play one more year in the UAAP due to the five playing year-rule.
Now comes the tricky part.
UAAP rules state that transferees from one college to another will have to sit out one year regardless if they played or not.
Rike does not fall in that rule.
Last May, Rike graduated with a degree in Business and Enterprise Management. With this, he is no longer seen by the league as a transferee but is seen as a student-athlete pursuing post-graduate studies.
In addition, he is of Filipino decent. Thus, he is considered as a local by the league.
Based on league rules:
“A student-athlete of a member school who is pursuing graduate studies in another member school shall serve one year residency and which residency shall be considered as one playing year,” the league ammendment states.
“A student-athlete from a non-member school who is pursuing graduate studies in a member school shall not be subject to the said residency requirement.”
But don’t expect to have an influx of Fil-foreigner student-athletes to do the same in the coming years.
“This is a very rare case,” said a UAAP official who refused to be named. “Sa sobrang bihira niyan, ilan ba ang Fil-Ams na willing to go back to college even if they are still younger than 25 years old? They’ll probably go to the D-League or sa PBA kagad.”