BRIGHT Akhuetie's fate in the 2018 season of the UAAP could also be known as early as this week as University of the Philippines seeks to clarify the league decision that could keep Ibrahim Quattara from playing this season.
UP College of Human Kinetics Dean Ronualdo Dizer said they plan to file an appeal after the eligibility committee said Quattara has yet to compete the two-year residency requirement.
UP contends Quattara's residency should only be one year following the enactment of the Magna Carta for Student-Athletes of then-Senator Pia Cayetano into law in 2015.
"We are optimistic because this has been amended during the time we were the host in 2015," Dizer said.
Dizer admitted Quattara's case is similar to Akhuetie, who transferred from Perpetual Help to UP. School officials believe he only needs one year of residency before becoming eligible for Season 81 in 2018.
"Yes, one year lang siya affected nun. When we presented this (one-year residency) in our hosting, it was in good faith. Wala pa si Akhuetie that time. 2015 pa 'yan. We want to rectify the mistake of a foreigner staying here for two years be discriminated," said Dizer.
Dizer confirmed the board of managing director's (BMD) eligibility committee used Ben Mbala's two-year residency with La Salle that ended in 2014 as basis for recommending Quattara ineligible for Season 80.
Dizer said the decision by the UAAP eligibility committee is not final. Under the new league setup, the final decision, he said, will be made by the new UAAP board of trustees which is now composed of the member school's presidents.
Dizer expects the UAAP board to make a decision on Tuesday, at the earliest.
"The BMD is not a policy-deciding body. It is not yet final. They based it on the two-year residency rule during the time of Ben Mbala. They recommended to the board of trustees the non-eligibility of our player. But it's not final. It is the board of trustees who will decide on that," said Dizer.
UP coach Bo Perasol also expressed confidence the UAAP board will allow Quattara to play as well as Rob Ricafort, also deemed ineligible after reaching the age limit of 25 at the time of the June 30 cutoff.
Perasol said he included Quattara and Ricafort in the line-up, even though UP faces the risk of playing with only 14 players.
"Si Dean, tinanong niya ako if we are going to change the line-up, knowing na may chance na malaglag (two players). Sabi ko, hindi na kasi alam namin na appealable," said Perasol.
"There is a good chance that our players will see action in the coming weeks," said Dizer.