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    FEU’s Ojoula ruled ineligible as one-and-done UAAP rule 'only for locals'

    Sep 2, 2019

    TRANSPARENCY is the legacy UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag wants to leave as the league aims to streamline its affairs this year.

    The amiable executive bared during Sunday's preseason press conference that he is advocating the league to make documents of its house rules and resolutions public through the UAAP website, hopefully later this year.

    "We need some stability and I realized that we’re a private association, but the UAAP has gone some sort of public already. So it’s our goal, hopefully this year, to make our rules public and to be published and come up with a rulebook para isa lang ang binabasa natin," he said.

    "As a lawyer, yun yung legacy na gusto kong iwan."

    This was after confusion led to a number of issues in the leadup to Season 82, first with Ateneo big man Angelo Kouame's eligibilty and later that of incoming Far Eastern University bruiser Emman Ojoula.

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    Ojoula, a Nigerian center who already earned a bachelor's degree from Naga College Foundation and was supposed to be fielded by the Tamaraws this year through the "one-and-done" provision, was ruled ineligible.

    Saguisag said the UAAP one-and-done rule is only applicable to local players.

    "I think he was ineligibile because he’s a foreign student-athlete. Some people call it the 'Troy Rike rule,' but for me, it’s a 'Troy Rike doctrine.' Troy Rike was able to avail of that for the mere fact that he is a Filipino citizen," he explained.

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    "One-and-done is only applicable for locals, for citizens of the Philippines and that is the same rule being applied to some players from La Salle."

    Saguisag cited the case of Keyshawn Evans-Meeker, Jamie Orme-Malonzo, and James Laput-Pado - Fil-foreigners who are set to debut with the Green Archers this season.

    Also taking advantage of that resolution are Rey Suerte and Jed Mendoza for UE, Jaybie Mantilla for UP, and Valandre Chauca of Adamson.

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    "We make a distinction pa rin somehow naman."

    Saguisag, however, said that if a UAAP rule can be applied to Kouame to make him eligible to play for Ateneo, the league board must align its rules to include foreigners in the scope of all rules effective next year.

    "According to the rules, in the case of Ojoula, hindi siya makakalaro. But then again, the board realized that we should realign with the high school situation. For as long as the player has attended at least one full academic year and graduated in the Philippines, even if he’s a foreigner, he can play agad," he said.

    "The direction of the league is to align it in the case of Angelo Kouame. If you’re a foreign student-athelete and you have graduated in the Philippines and have attended one full academic year here, wala ka nang redshirt. But again, that’s moving forward."

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