JERIE Pingoy could have been a big boost to Ateneo's quest for a sixth successive UAAP championship.
So said Blue Eagles star Kiefer Ravena, who was left to rue the two-time UAAP juniors MVP's inability to suit up for the Katipunan-based squad this season due to the league's controversial residency rules.
“(He’s) a loss,” Ravena admitted to Spin.ph on Saturday after the Master Game Face Challenge at The Arena in San Juan. ”Sayang `yung ma-co-contribute niya sa amin this year.”
Pingoy won't be able to suit up for Ateneo this season after his controversial transfer from FEU owing to the UAAP's decision extending its residency requirement for intra-league transfers for high school graduates to two years.
Following a Senate inquiry into the contentious rule, the country’s premier collegiate league added a clause to the ruling that allows a transferee to play immediately for his new team if and when he secures a release from his former school.
FEU officials, however, have said they won't be granting Pingoy his release, meaning the star guard from Cebu will only be allowed to play for the Blue Eagles starting in 2015, his third year in college.
Ravena said the Blue Eagles, reigning five-time UAAP champion, could do nothing but to respect the law.
“At the same time, rules are rules. Ginagawa siya para sundin, so kailangan na lang natin mag-abide sa rule na yun,” the incoming third-year guard added.
Pingoy failed to see action with Ateneo in the Filoil Flying V Preseason tournament, but played alongside Ravena with Team Chris during the Master Game Face Challenge in his first live national TV game as a college player.
The son of former PBA player Jerry Pingoy readily showed flashes of brilliance during his brief 13-minute exposure on the floor after finishing with seven points, three rebounds, three assists, and a steal.