RAFFY Verano and Jolo Mendoza are in danger of missing the upcoming UAAP Season 82 for Ateneo due to academic deficiencies.
Blue Eagles coach Tab Baldwin bared the development after Cignal-Ateneo's win in the 2019 PBA D-League Finals on Tuesday, adding the incoming seniors also bound to miss the team's upcoming Greece training.
"Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano are not going because they'll be under academic suspension next semester," he said.
The Fil-Am Verano averaged 7.6 points and 5.1 rebounds, while the 6-foot Mendoza netted 3.9 points on a 40-percent shooting from threes during the Blue Eagles' run to the championship last season.
"The academics in Ateneo, they are real, you know. It's no joke. And the guys have to perform in the classroom and when they don't, there's nothing we can do about it," said Baldwin.
Sources bared an appeal is ongoing for Verano and Mendoza, but chances are those will be thumbed down.
Even the players sounded as if they have accepted their fate, looking forward for the chance to redeem themselves in time for next year's UAAP cage wars.
"I shouldn’t be in this position. I shouldn’t put my team in this position, but it happens and I gotta roll with it," said Verano. "I’ll take this as a stepping stone to better myself. This offseason, I’m gonna try to be better as a person, better on the books, and better in basketball."
Mendoza added: "Pumasa ako sa subjects ko, but di ako umabot sa QPI (quality point index). Wala na akong magagawa doon but to use this year to get stronger and hopefully, take my game to the next level when I come back in Season 83."
As tough as their absences will be for the team, Baldwin said rules are rules and the Blue Eagles have no other choice but to follow it.
"It's the way it is and there's no safety nets for them. So we'll have to replace them in the lineup," he said.