THE controversial changes to the UAAP's residency rules that threatens to derail juniors star Jerie Pingoy's transfer to Ateneo is also expected to delay the arrival at La Salle of Cebu-based sensation Ben Mbala.
Ateneo’s Em Fernandez, head of the league’s amendments committee, has confirmed to Spin.ph that among the changes approved by the UAAP board on Tuesday was the lengthening of the residency requirement for foreign transferees from one to two years.
The new rule will certainly be bad news for Mbala, the 6-foot-7 sensation from Southwestern University who after starring in the last Cesafi (Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc) season has committed to join the Green Archers in the UAAP.
Under the old rule, the Cameroonian only needs to redshirt for one year once he enrolls at La Salle next school year. But the residency requirement has been extended by another year under the changes which, ironically, the school voted to adopt in the board meeting on Tuesday.
Granting Mbala enrolls at La Salle next season, he will only be eligible to play in the league in 2015.
In the same boat is Cebuano star Pingoy, who after winning a championship and two MVP awards in the UAAP with Far Eastern University's high school team will have to redshirt for two years if he pushes through with plans to enrol at Ateneo for his college education.
La Salle board representative Henry Atayde said the amendments committee is actually batting for an across-the-board two-year residency for all transferees, including those from high school, in college, or from other countries.
Under the old rules, Fil-foreign players must go through two-year residency while foreign students who transfer schools, like Far Eastern University's Anthony Hargrove, need only to redshirt for one season.