NCAA to enforce one-import rule in Season 84
by Joey Villar
Saturday, March 29, 2008

which reads in part,”The National Collegiate Athletic Association yesterday announced it would implement a new rule barring participating schools from fielding in more than two foreign players…

The recent move was reportedly done to level the playing field since reigning back-to-back champion San Beda has already set a precedent of fielding in two Nigerian players—2006 NCAA rookie MVP Sam Ekwe and up-and-coming rookie Emeka Udo.”

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The summer heat is on… And so are the NCAA wars. In an expected move by the NCAA, teams shall be allowed to field one foreign player on the court at any one time. This, according to the NCAA, aims to level the playing field with the entry of another Nigerian bigman, Kevin Emeka Udo, into the lineup of back-to-back champions San Beda.

Well, the Lions’ Den had long anticipated such a move. In most tuneups and practices, Udo has come off the bench as a back-up center to Sam Ekwe, who is set to play his final year with the Red Lions.

Onlookers have different views on this new ruling. Some agree with the NCAA that it is but fair. Besides, the UAAP has a similar rule. Others think of it as another maneuvering tactic to douse cold water on San Beda’s bid for a back-to-back-to-back. It makes Bedans wonder if the Ekwe-Udo phenomenon did not materialize, will the same rule come about? Perpetual had a South Korean and an Indonesian in its fold, but the ManCom did not press the panic button.

Well, it does not come as a surprise to me. Even our government does not anticipate the forthcoming. It only reacts to emergencies.

This brings me back to the Filipino psyche. We are so caught up in crab mentality. Even our local hero Manny Pacquiao had to suffer from our chronic crab mentality. He had to defend his most recent conquest to his fellow Filipinos. Other boxing aficionados were even urging an investigation to look into what they say is an “anomaly.” But come on, the man busted off his ass on that ring. Now this is the mood we welcome him with. The PacMan is not a saint. He has his shortcomings but he will go down in history as one of the greatest Filipino fighters ever.

In the basketball arena, we aim for supremacy even within this region.Yet, we refuse to take the competition level to a higher notch. This frame of mind has long hounded the amateur leagues up to the PBA. Our basketball prowess will not improve by banging bodies against our own. Filipinos are not tall, our bodies are not muscular by nature. And we know this for a fact. Basketball is a tall man’s game. For years, ours was the sole professional league in Asia, but did we reign supreme? We are doing something wrong here. This is not the venue to apply our patriotic sentiments.  It is just sooo misplaced..  It’s time we raise the bar, shall we?

On the PCU controversy, what is taking them so long to make the decision?? To suspend or not to suspend, that is the question. How difficult could it be? If these guys really want to level the playing field, just bring PCU back to competition. Magkaalaman na talaga kung sino ang matatag.

Suspending PCU for another year will not do the trick. They cheated. Fine. How do you make them pay? Suspend them a year for every player’s documents that they falsified? Make them play now or just expel them from the league altogether. Make these school officials responsible for eroding the competitive spirit that we love so much about college basketball. Leave the players out of it. Sure, these anomalies would never come to be without the players’ participation. But these young guys did not instigate tactics. All they wanted is to have a chance at education alongside playing basketball. Then, there are even talks that these officials intend to penalize them with a lifetime ban? Shame on you…

For one, Elvin Jake Pascual was a marquis player coming out of highschool. Because of an NCAA ruling, he was forced to sit out his first year in college to be able to play with the Red Lions in the upcoming 84th season. Pascual, with the aid of his new school, San Beda, executed an affidavit to elaborate on his knowledge about the PCU controversy. Back in PCU, he was asked to repeat a year in highschool upon his transfer from Tarlac. This was not illegal. He was well within the age of eligibility while he was playing in the Juniors division. To me, he committed no wrong. While others’ cases involved identity switching, falsification of public documents, his was too minor an incident for him to be penalized. Just let him play, he has a bright future ahead of him.

As early as now, the NCAA is making noise. This is a good sign. Let’s step it up. Let all teams get a crack at the NCAA crown. For this next season, let all the wars stay on the court. Not off it…



  1. Mixxy says:

    Greetings from a fellow Pinay living in the Netherlands!
    Also I just began reading your posts,I noticed a lot of posts about San Beda .. I graduated from Bene HS decades ago.. it’s nice to find your blog! 🙂

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