JERIE Pingoy can only hope for the best amid talk that the former Far Eastern University high school star will soon get a release that would enable him to play with Ateneo in the UAAP this coming season.
Pingoy, whose transfer from FEU to Ateneo led to sweeping and controversial changes to the league's residency rules, said that while he wants to play in the UAAP as soon as possible, he is keeping his expectations in check as he waits for his turn to play for the Blue Eagles.
Pingoy even compares his situation to someone who is expecting a date on Valentine's Day.
“Ayokong mag-expect dahil baka lalo akong masaktan,” Pingoy said on Tuesday. “Parang Valentine's lang ‘yan. Kapag nag-eexpect ka, wala ka palang gift na matatanggap.”
Spin.ph reported on Tuesday that Pingoy could soon get his release that will pave the way for the Cebuano guard to play for Ateneo in Season 77, a story that was denied by no less than FEU’s representative to the UAAP board Anton Montinola.
After his much-talked about move from FEU to Ateneo, the UAAP board mandated high school graduates moving to a different member school to spend two years of residency instead of one.
A release clause was later inserted to the rule that will allow an incoming freshman athlete to immediately suit up if he gets permission from his mother school - a release which FEU has yet to grant Pingoy.
Pingoy admitted that he too has heard rumors that he might get his release soon, but all he can do right now is hope, pray, and wait for official word.
“Rinig-rinig lang. Kuwento-kuwento lang. Verbal. Siyempre natuwa ako. Kahit sino naman, kung ma-rerelease, matutuwa naman. I’m still hoping na ma-rerelease ako. Sana,” said Pingoy.
On Tuesday, the Ateneo guard returned to his former school where he won two juniors MVP awards during the unveiling of the new FEU-Diliman Sports Center. Pingoy as well as his former teammates were honored for giving the school its second juniors title in 2012.
Pingoy said he was happy to return to his roots.
“Pumunta ako dahil ininvite ako ni Dr. Miriam Garcia (FEU-Diliman principal). Siya ‘yung parang second mom ko out of respect sa school ko. Masaya rin ako na nakabalik ako sa FEU,” said Pingoy.
In a talk to reporters, Montinola denied that FEU is willing to grant a release to Pingoy as no one has asked for it from the player's camp. He even expressed interest in bringing back Pingoy to FEU.
But Pingoy doused that possibility, saying he remains committed to Ateneo.
“Ateneo ako… sa ngayon, naglalaro muna ako sa Fr. Martin,” said Pingoy.
Pingoy said he doesn’t have any regret moving from FEU to Ateneo that forced him to undergo a lengthy residency period.
“Hindi ako nag-reregret. Time will come. Nasa tamang oras lahat. Ngayon, nag-eenjoy muna ako,” said Pingoy.