XAVIER School, which has one of the best high school basketball programs outside the UAAP and NCAA, is considering pulling out from its mother league, the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association, over lingering recruitment issues.
Reacting to rumors that the Golden Stallions are leaving the 43-year-old league where Xavier is a founding member and winner of 10 championships, an offficial of the all-boys Filipino-Chinese school confirmed the plan but insisted nothing is final.
“Actually meron (balak mag-pull out), pero hindi pa siya confirmed kasi pinag-uusapan pa,” said the official who requested that he not be named. “Syempre hindi rin basta pwedeng iwan ng school yan kasi yun lang yung talagang parang tournament for the Filipino-Chinese community eh.”
The league’s next tournament opens in mid-January.
If Xavier pushes through with the threat, Tiong Lian, one of the most prestigious junior leagues in the country and a breeding ground of top college prospects, will be reduced to three schools — defending champion Hope Christian High School, Chiang Kai Shek College, and St. Stephen’s High School.
Xavier, for one, has produced the likes of brothers Jeron and Jeric Teng, Chris Tiu, Joseph Yeo, and TY Tang. [For full story, see Xavier an 'X-Factor' in college game as unlikely breeding ground of basketball stars]
On the other hand, two stars of Hope Christian, Clint Doliguez and John Apacible, have recently been recruited to play for UAAP powerhouse Ateneo next season.
[For full story see High school stars Doliguez, Apacible commit to play for Ateneo Blue Eagles]
According to sources, the school already signified its intention to pull out from Tiong Lian when the league’s board held a meeting a few months ago, but kept the door open on staying should the league implement certain recruitment policies.
Xavier officials, the source added, wants the league to enforce more stringent recruitment rules that were agreed upon by the board even before last season, particularly on the number of recruits and age of recruitment.
“May mga pinag-usapan na rules na dapat implemented na last year pa. Eh ang problema nag-meeting na naman daw this year na parang binabalewala nila yung mga rules na napag-usapan. Parang magulo na naman. So Xavier wants to clarify,” said the source.
“Kung sasabihin nila na hindi na natin susundin yung rules na napag-usapan dati, ayaw na ng school.”
While not mentioning schools, the school official said the recruitment scheme these days has tarnished the essence of the league which was primarily to foster camaraderie among the Filipino-Chinese schools in Manila and develop homegrown talent among the member schools.