THE NCAA pushing back the target launch of its Season 96 to the second quarter of 2021 raised the possibility of recent transferees such as Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and JV Gallego being eligible in the next athletic year.
NCAA chairman Fr. Vic Calvo reiterated the league's standing rule on transferees remains the same despite the calendar changes, meaning newcomers need only to be enrolled for one academic year before becoming eligible.
"Ganoon pa rin. They have to be enrolled for academic year to serve yung residency nila before they can play, regardless kung kailan tayo magsimula," Calvo, who is Letran's representative to the board, said.
For most schools, players must pass two semesters in their new homes. It must be three terms for St. Benilde, and four for Mapua, to be able to serve their residency.
Abando, Paraiso, and Ira Bataller transferred from University of Santo Tomas to Letran in September, meaning that all three can play for the Knights if the season begins beyond May, since by then they've already finished two semesters.
It's the same case for Gallego, who moved from National University to San Beda in September and should be able to finish his first two terms in Mendiola by June.
Others who can benefit from this schedule change are Ivan Santos, Jopet Soriano, and Marlon Navarro, former Technological Institute of the Philippines players who transferred to Mapua; Carlo Abadeza, who is now in Lyceum after stops at San Beda and La Salle; Jun Asuncion, who moved from UST to Mapua; and Shawn Umali, who went from Letran to Lyceum.
Meanwhile, players who transferred back in 2019 up to earlier this year are sure to be cleared to play in the coming NCAA season.
Those include Will Gozum, who after two years in University of the Philippines decided to go to St. Benilde; Joseph Brutas, who moved from Diliman College to Letran; and Jeremiah Pangalangan, who also moved to Letran after a brief stay in St. Benilde.
Currently, the NCAA has pencilled in its opening for April 2021 at the earliest as it continues to study the option of staging school-based, sport-specific bubbles for its hopeful resumption.
Only four main sports — namely basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field — are planned to be held in Season 96.