CEBU CITY - University of the Visayas team manager Gerald Anthony 'Samsam' Gullas finally broke his silence on the defection of their two star players to the University of the Philippines, blasting Maroons head coach Bo Perasol for not being decent enough to let the Lancers brass know about their interest in the Cebuano players.
Perasol had earlier explained to SPIN.ph that the two Green Lancers stars, Jun Manzo and Leonard Santillan, were mere walk-ins in UP practice, but that has hardly eased the anger of Gullas, a congressman representing the first district of Cebu.
“Mr. Perasol claimed Manzo and Santillan just appeared during a practice of UP Maroons without any invitation. However, we in UV, believe that elementary courtesy, which lies as the bedrock of all sports, would have prodded Mr. Perasol to inform us that our players were joining them,” said Gullas.
“We are saddened that sometimes sportsmen lose their sense of courtesy. We didn’t expect that the coach of a premier university would have failed to recognize a simple act of decency,” added the usually soft-spoken sportsman, who uncharacteristically spewed venom normally reserved for his rivals in the political arena.
Nevertheless, Gullas admitted that he and the rest of UV officials are granting Manzo and Santillan a release to UP, citing Republic Act No. 10676, more popularly known as the “Student-Athletes Protection Act,” of which he was a co-author during the last Congress.
“Let it be known that the departure of Manzo and Santillan is protected under the Republic Act No. 10676. I am a co-author of this law in the House of Representatives. Under this law, student-athletes may freely transfer from one school to another without burdens and restraints.
"Mr. Manzo and Mr. Santillan enjoy the benefits of this law and I make it clear that the University of the Visayas wishes them the best of luck,” Gullas said.
Gullas also made it clear no fees would be demanded for the duo's transfer.
“When I was working in Congress, I was only guided by national interest and the benefit of all Filipino student-athletes, even if it did not correlate with my vested personal interest as team manager of the University of the Visayas Green Lancers. No development fees will be negotiated or paid. None whatsoever. They are free to go,” he added.
Despite the glaring hole that the duo leaves for the Lancers, Gullas remained optimistic as he took pride in the player development history of UV that has gotten other schools and coaches' attention.
“I am happy that the University of the Visayas has given basketball players Manzo and Santillan the kind of intensive training that developed them to become marquee players. They started in UV as Passerelle players and now are vital cogs in our collegiate program," he shared.
"Coach Gary (Cortes), employing the program used by the Green Lancers, honed their talents to become key figures in the Green Lancers’ system such that in due time, Manzo and Santillan became the object of the eyes of some basketball coaches in the country, including Bo Perasol of the University of the Philippines,” added Gullas.