THE days of foreign student-athletes playing in the NCAA are at an end.
The country's oldest collegiate league bared on Tuesday that its coming season will mark the last time foreign players will be allowed to compete, not only in basketball but in its entire sports calendar.
Speaking during the Philippine Sportswriters (PSA) Forum on Tuesday at Tapa King restaurant in Cubao, new NCAA management committee chairman Frank Gusi of Perpetual Help said the league has agreed to go all-Filipino after this season.
The NCAA management committee earlier ordered member schools to stop recruiting foreign athletes back in Season 90 and announced its decision to be 'import free' starting in 2021.
That plan has now been pushed forward to next year.
The decision, Cusi said, covers all foreign students-athletes, even if they are bound to eligible to play beyond this eason in terms of residency and the age limit.
"The NCAA policy board decided to allow foreign players to suit up only until Season 95 in all sports," said Gusi.
San Beda's Toba Eugene, who's eligible to play until Season 96, will be the most notable player to be hit by the ruling along with Chrisian leutcheu of St. Benilde.
Powerhouse foreign athletes such as Prince Eze of Perpetual and Hamadou Laminou of Emilio Aguinaldo are also set to lose their years of eligibility beyond this season.
The Red Lions' Donald Tankoua and Arnaud Noah will play their final year of eligibility next season.
Notable foreign recruits from the past include San Beda’s Sam Ekwe and Ola Adeogun, and two-time MVP Alwell Oraeme of Mapua.