Thursday, July 7, 2011

UAAP Sidelights: The Eligibility Case of Greg Slaughter and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr.

All's well that's ends well. The UAAP 74 Basketball Season unfolds this Sunday with experts saying that this is one of the toughest editions in years. This after the UAAP Board cleared and gave the go signal to play to Ateneo's prize recruit, 7' behemoth Greg Slaughter and NU's celebrated rookie, Bobby Ray Parks. Slaughter, who once led the University of Visayas (UV) Lancers to four (4) straight championships in the Cebu Collegiate Meet, and Parks, the talented son and namesake of many time PBA Best Import, Bobby Parks, were hounded by eligibility questions decided only this late by the UAAP Board. This now make NU a serious contender and a step closer for the Blue Eagles in their drive for a rare 4-peat championships. Expected to crowd them are last year's runner up, FEU Tamaraws, La Salle Geen Archers and Adamson Falcons. Of course, upsets from the UE Red Warriors now coached by PBA veteran Jerry Codinera and Pido Jarencio's UST Fighting Tigers can't be ruled out.

Slaughter's short stint with the Smart Gilas national team while in residency was the issue. UAAP rules states that a player in residency is barred from playing in any other league though it was reasoned out that there's an amended rule to the effect that this will not apply when the player suited up with the national team. For Parks, he needed one more year residency after studying 3 years high school in the US. But there is also a rule that when at least one parent worked as an OFW, this 2 year residency does not apply. Parks was born in Batangas, finished elementary in Manila and spent 3 years in high school in the US when his Filipina mother worked there as OFW. He came back last year for his 4th year. And in his personal appeal to let him play, he pleaded his case in fluent Filipino (Tagalog) in a presscon the other day.

I fully agree with my favorite sports columnist Quinito Henson of the Phil. Star when in his column yesterday he said that this eligibility issue could have been resolved by the board a long time ago. They knew full well that these two players are geared up to play for their respective schools months ago. Were the schools also remiss in this? After all, Aldrech Ramos who also once played for Smart Gilas was cleared early this year but it was because FEU officials then wrote the Board to decide on his case.

This issue somehow, in my view, put a dent in the spirit of fairness and fair play and may, as Henson added, "put unnecessary ill will among member schools."

Be that as it may, this gonna be another blockbuster Sunday. Roll out the drums. Blare the trumpets.Put on your school colors. Hail, the gang's all here. See you at Araneta!


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