FAR Eastern University is set to parade a new foreign player for its campaign in the upcoming UAAP Season 82, but it won't be Cameroonian big man Patrick Tchuente.
Sources close to the situation confirmed that Nigerian bruiser Emmanuel Ojoula is set to see action for the Tamaraws, with the former Naga College Foundation center taking advantage of the "Troy Rike rule."
Ojoula, 22, will be cleared to play this year owing to the UAAP's long-standing rule with regards to student-athletes who already graduated from non-UAAP schools, but are taking post-graduate studies.
The rule states that: "A student-athlete from a non-member school who is pursuing graduate studies in a member school shall not be subject to residency requirements." The rule covers both locals and foreign students.
Ojoula, a 6-foot-7 slotman, steered NCF to four championships in the Naga City Charter Intercollegiate Basketball tournament from 2015 to 2018. With him leading the way, the Tigers of coach Brian Ayo also advanced to the Elite Eight of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) for the past two years.
He has since played for the Taguig Generals in the M-League, averaging 21.1 points. 12.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 11 games in the Reinforced Conference.
Ojoula has also seen action for FEU during the summer, including a tuneup game against Gilas Pilipinas Youth last June.
He will have his hands full to fill up the shoes left by Prince Orizu, who helped the Tamaraws reach four straight Final Four appearances.
Despite the development, the 6-foot-10 Tchuente, who played with FEU during the 2019 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup and in the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, remains in the team's pool of players.
Tiebreaker Times was the first to report on the development.