THE UAAP board confirmed on Wednesday that Adamson's Encho Serrano was declared ineligible by the league for failure to complete his high school records submitted to the league, leading to the forfeiture of the Baby Falcons' 11 wins in the Season 79 juniors basketball tournament.
In a letter to Adamson that was released to the media, UAAP eligibility committee chairman Rod Roque said Serrano failed to submit his secondary student’s permanent record “that would show/indicate his complete high school enrollments/records/credentials.”
“With his ineligibility, all the games where Mr. Serrano played are therefore, FORFEITED, in accordance with existing UAAP Rules and Regulations,” said Roque in the letter addressed to Adamson’s representatives to the UAAP board, Fr. Aldrin Suan and Fr. Andrew Bayal.
The decision of the UAAP board meant all 12 games of the Baby Falcons prior to Wednesday, 11 of which they won, were forfeited, dropping the team to the bottom of the standings with a 0-12 record before a victory over UST on Wednesday which Serrano sat out.
Adamson has yet to issue an official statement but a person who refused to be identified since he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the school said the Baby Falcons will appeal the UAAP decision.
The source said school officials are at a loss on what particular UAAP rule Adamson exactly violated, adding it Adamson felt it was unfair for the league to delay the decision until the latter part of the eliminations when the Baby Falcons had already clinched the top seeding in the Final Four.
Serrano, who is playing in his first year with the Baby Falcons after transferring from Mapua, was the top candidate in the UAAP MVP race until he was ruled ineligible.
According to a source, the controversy started after it was learned that Serrano attended a school in Apalit, Pampanga, the St. Vincent Academy, where he dropped out after Grade 7.
Curiously, his records at St. Vincent Academy were not part of the documents Mapua turned over to Adamson after his transfer which were in turn submitted to the UAAP board, the source added.
When Mapua failed to secure Serrano's records from St. Vincent, the school turned to Jose Escaler Memorial School in San Juan, Apalit Pampanga where Serrano attended Grade 6 to obtain pertinent documents that would allow Serrano to study Grade 7 in Mapua, a source bared.
Despite the controversial transfer to Mapua, an Adamson insider said school officials were so confident that his records were in order that they continued to play Serrano even after the issue first came to light.
“The school is running a respectable program right now. We will not resort sa ganyang bagay. Hindi naman namin sisirain ‘yung eskwela for the sake of winning the championship, especially high school,” the source said.