Ben Mbala, CJ Perez among those to gain as UAAP rule change set to extend players' eligibility
Ben Mbala and CJ Suarez are among those expected to benefit once a new UAAP rule extending the players' eligibility is adopted in the coming Season 79.

A UAAP rule change expected to be signed soon could extend the eligibility of players such as Ben Mbala of La Salle and CJ Perez of Ateneo.

The league’s board of trustees, sources told, is expected to adjust the players’ eligibility timeframe.

Currently, the UAAP allows a player seven years to play for five seasons. The seven-year period starts when the player graduates from high school.

The age limit of 25 among players is also under review.

Transferees and foreign players are expected to benefit from the new rule, which will be implemented starting Season 79, and among them could be Mbala and Perez.

The two were recruited by UAAP schools when they were already in college, and under the current rule, both players have only one season to play in the league.

The rule change will make them eligible for Season 80, and possibly beyond.

The sources, however, made it clear the rule was changed out of necessity as only a few players will be available for college teams in the next years due to the implementation of the K-12 program.

“Lahat makikinabang kasi dahil sa K-12, hindi makaka-recruit ng mga players from high school,” said the source.

University of the Philippines will formally turn over the hosting chores of the UAAP to University of Santo Tomas for Season 79 this month.

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