KIEFER Ravena is not in favor of a call to ban UAAP and NCAA athletes from the Palarong Pambansa.
Reacting to a SPIN.ph story on Pampanga head coach Alan Trinidad calling for a ban on all UAAP and NCAA athletes to level the Palaro playing field, Ravena said such a 'crazy' move will prevent high schoolers from playing the sport they love in the Palaro.
“Ban kids from playing ball? Least they could do is limit the UAAP/NCAA players in a team but that’s still crazy,” wrote Ravena on his Twitter account. “Why ban the kids from playing the sport that they love to level the playing field. Sabi nga nila, bilog ang bola.”
Trinidad issued the call after his Central Luzon side lost to the National Capital Region, which was represented by a powerhouse Nazareth School team made up of top recruits from the provinces.
The veteran Pampanga coach said UAAP and NCAA players should no longer be allowed to play in the annual multisports competition organized by the Department of Education.
Trinidad also lamented that the Palaro has become the recruitment ground of Manila-based teams.
Ravena, however, said it is not the kids’ fault that he or she made the decision to move to a different school or a different region.
“Kasalanan ba ng bata na lumipat siya sa Manila?” Ravena, an Iloilo native, said in a tweet. “Shouldn’t their coach be proud that he’s facing the kid he developed to be a great player? Parang may mali naman doon kung ‘yan ang approach. Remember, we still have basketball gems in the provinces.”
“Ang point dito, bakit ka magba-ban ng mga bata na puwede naman sila maglaro? Dahil lang nasa UAAP, NCAA team sila? Banning is not a solution to equalize the playing field,” said Ravena.
On the contention that UAAP and NCAA players limit the chances of other homegrown NCR athletes from representing the Big City at the Palaro level, Ravena said athletes work hard for that chance regardless of where they were born or raised.
“Why not field the strongest team possible? Kids gotta work hard nowadays to get that chance. Not just give it to them just because of a policy. Earn it. Magagaling naman sila,” said Ravena.