THE UAAP board on Saturday said it declared University of the Philippines Integrated School player Jozhua General based solely on the merits of the case, denying claims made by Junior Maroons' coach Allan Gregorio that it was a “power-tripping” decision.
Responding to a Spin.ph report and a newspaper column about the UAAP board decision, secretary treasurer Malou Isip took exception to Gregorio’s statements insinuating that host Adamson, which Isip represents in the board, may have swayed the league's verdict.
The Junior Maroons’ lone victory this season, which they pulled off after four overtime periods last July 14, came against the Baby Falcons, with the winning basket scored by General himself. That 89-87 victory has since been overturned after General was declared ineligible.
“We are not power-tripping,” Isip told Spin.ph. “We just set our decision based on the record that they (Junior Maroons) presented.”
The UAAP ruled that General had already exhausted the number of years (five) allowed an athlete to complete his high school playing years in the UAAP. In the case of General, the UAAP board found out that he had already finished Grade Six in 2008 in a school in Naga City.
Gregorio, however, slammed the decision saying that General is eligible based on his 2010 Grade Seven graduation at Lourdes School, which was allowed by the Department of Education.
In protest of the league’s decision, Gregorio wore a black wrist band during the Junior Maroons’ loss to De La Salle-Zobel on Saturday at the end of the first round of the juniors competitions at The Arena in San Juan.
Isip confirmed that the board earlier declared General eligible based on his 2010 elementary graduation records at Lourdes School submitted by UPIS. However, she said the league found out that General had a record of attending high school in San Beda College-Taytay, meaning he had already graduated from elementary previously.
“The San Beda high school record was never declared,” said Isip.
After questions about General’s eligibility surfaced, Isip said the board asked UP’s board representatives Chancellor Caesar Saloma and Ronualdo Dizer to review his papers.
“It was my initiative to call UP to check his records kasi doble ang graduation. They (UP) themselves found out na may first-year record na siya ng high school,” said Isip.
The UAAP secretary treasurer also confirmed that the league doesn’t sanction a student-athlete from graduating twice. But UAAP rules state that the first graduation will be the basis of an athlete’s eligibility.
“Puwede namang gumraduate ng ilang beses. But the issue is kung ano ang iho-honor namin na graduation. Siyempre, ’yun iyong unang date of graduation and hindi ’yung pangalawa,” said Isip.