THE status of National University center Alfred Aroga remains uncertain as the school gathers additional documents to back up his eligibility for Season 76 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Coach Eric Altamirano said the team has no timetable for Aroga’s season debut after the Bulldogs decided not to field the Cameroonian big man in their opening game against defending champion Ateneo.
The development means the 6-foot-6 Aroga is in danger of missing more games for the Bulldogs.
“We don’t know yet,” Altamirano said. “Management has decided not to play him until we clear up his papers. So it’s a day-to-day thing. I can’t comment on that further.”
Aroga has actually been allowed by the league to suit up for NU during an emergency board meeting held hours before the new season kicked off last Saturday. However, the Bulldogs risk forfeiting all their won games where Aroga played should he fail to be cleared by the end of the first round.
Ingrid Sewa of Adamson is also in the same predicament although head coach Leo Austria decided to field the big man during the Falcons’ game against University of the Philippines on Sunday.
Both the Falcons and Bulldogs won their respective games.
Altamirano admitted the UAAP has been asking for more supporting documents to prove the eligibility of Aroga.
“Yung eligibility papers niya, `yung birth certificate. The board asked for further requirements aside from the requirements that we gave to the board,” said the NU coach.
With Aroga on the bench in street clothes, fellow African Emmanuel Mbe picked up the slack by coming through with a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 64-54 demolition of the Blue Eagles.
“I think he really helped us a lot today,” said Altamirano, referring to Mbe. “Aside from scoring, he controlled the rebounds. He was very helpful for our team today.”
The Bulldogs will try to keep their unbeaten record as they next battle opening-day loser University of the East on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.