A TOP Eastern University official has denied that the school is set to give Jerie Pingoy his release to allow the two-time UAAP juniors MVP to play for the Ateneo Blue Eagles next season.
Anton Montinola, FEU’s representative to the UAAP board, said there is no truth to the report of Spin.ph on Tuesday about Pingoy's impending release, adding the player's camp has not even asked for one.
“He never asked for a release. Nobody asked for a release,” Montinola told reporters during the unveiling of the brand-new FEU-Diliman Sports Center on Tuesday.
When asked whether the school will grant a release to Pingoy if asked, Montinola said: "That's hypothetical. Nobody asked.”
Montinola even expressed the school’s intention to welcome the Cebuano guard back to their fold if he wants to enjoy FEU’s new sports facilities.
“It’s up to him. He is welcome. He can be the one to take the first shot when we open the gym … We will see. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata,” said Montinola.
After a successful high school career, Pingoy decided not to play for the FEU seniors team and instead joined Ateneo - a move that triggered sweeping changes to the league's residency rules.
Under the new rules, high school graduates moving from one UAAP member school to another will have to undergo a two-year residency unless a release will be granted by his former school.
Pingoy is currently serving the first of his two-year residency with Ateneo.
Incidentally, Pingoy was present during the launch of the new FEU sports facility in its high school campus as the school honored the 2012 championship team that won the UAAP title.
Montinola said he is hopeful about the possibility of Pingoy changing his mind and returning to FEU, citing the example of former juniors player and teammate Roger Domingo.
“Roger Domingo left to play for UP and now, he is back. Who knows? Maybe we can have the two MVPs here. He is welcome here. His teammates are talking to him,” said Montinola.
Montinola expressed support for their former player on his decision to move to Ateneo, although he didn’t categorically state whether the school will release Pingoy if he chooses not to stay.
“That is his choice. We have no say on that. We can’t force him. It will be his choice. If he decides to come back and play, we will gladly have him,” said Montinola.