ATENEO recruit Hubert Cani has been declared ineligible by the UAAP board for Season 78 despite the impending passage of the Student-Athletes Protection Bill.
Ricky Palou, Ateneo's representative to the UAAP board, confirmed to Spin.ph that Cani was declared ineligible during a meeting by the league's board on Monday at the University of the Philippines.
"Sa ngayon hindi siya puwede," said Palou.
Palou admitted the school was taken by surprise when the Cani case was brought up during the board meeting, sayng he had hoped that Cani would be given a release by former school National University.
Cani, a former NU standout in high school, transferred to Ateneo a year ago.
"Umaasa kami na mabibigyan siya ng release ng NU," said Palou. "Hindi ko nga maintindihan. Hindi nga namin akalain, biglang lumitaw na lang (ang issue sa deliberation)."
The decision means the UAAP's controversial rules on residency for high school transferees still applies even after the Students-Athletes Protection Bill filed by Sen. Pia Cayetano was passed into law and only awaiting for signature by the President.
If left unsigned by the President, the law will lapse into law, which could only happen in the middle of the UAAP season.
The development came as a major blow for Cani, who was expecting to play for the UAAP Season 78 following the passage of the bill.
League officials explained that Cani was ruled ineligible because he moved to Ateneo when the old rule was still in place.