NEWCOMER Fruitas' opening 88-82 victory over Café France in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup last week has been forfeited after the team was found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud said big man Joseph Erioubu, born to a Filipina mother and Nigerian father in Hong Kong, has not submitted his Bureau of Immigration Order of Recognition before suiting up for the Shakers. The document is a league requirement for Filipinos born overseas.
Salud also said the team will be fined P25,000.
Fruitas coach Nash Racela said that he had no idea that Erioubu, who played for the Mapua Cardinals in the NCAA, was born in Hong Kong and was only informed of the needed documentation requirement during halftime.
“The league informed us only during halftime which prompted us not to use Eriobu in the second half,” said Racela.
Fruitas is also awaiting the same document from former University of the Philippines Fil-American forward Mike Silungan, who sat out the game. “In the case of Silungan, we were informed (of the problem) before the game that’s why he didn’t play,” Racela said.
Silungan had played in the PBA D-League for Junior Powerade but didn’t need the BI recognition because of the team’s tie-up with the Maroons.