‘Respect the rule’
Despite the controversy it made, most coaches and players of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) agreed that the two-year residency rule on players must be enforced and respected.
“The rule is a big help for the schools. It is unhealthy if a player keeps on transferring from one school to another. Piracy will be avoided with that rule in effect,” said Mark Tallo, assistant coach of the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras.
Tallo said the rule will help prevent “one-sided competition.” Cesafi officials are locked in a legal battle with the parents of Scott Aying.
The parents filed a civil case seeking court intervention to allow their son to play for the University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors. (See Page 2 story.) Tallo advised USC to follow the rule.
“That rule has been there for the longest time. USC should adhere to the existing rules,” Tallo said.
Scrapping the rule will destroy the league said Bong Pineda, assistant coach of the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers.
“It is very helpful. Without it, all the good players may play for just one team which can offer them lucrative perks,” said Pineda. “It will be very chaotic if we don’t have that kind of rule.”
“Players will hesitate to transfer because of that rule. You develop players only to lose them due to piracy,” said Edito Salacut, head coach of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars.
Bernard Ricablanca, athletic director of the University of Cebu (UC), said the school was once a victim of piracy among varsity players when they lost Mark Abadia and Ramil Tagupa to Adamson University.
“It is not easy to develop players. It takes time and it’s frustrating when you see them leave because they got better offers from other schools,” Ricablanca said.
Though he favors retaining the rule, Monbert Arong, team captain of the Cobras, said it should only be required to establish a one-year residency instead of two years.
“Two years is too long. More time will be wasted. By reducing it to one year, players will be given a bigger chance of playing for bigger teams,” Arong said.
Former Green Lancer Greg Slaughter agreed with Arong.
“Two years is too long especially in Cebu. There’s already little exposure as it is. Why make a player waste two valuable years,” said Slaughter in a text message.
Slaughter used to play for UV before he transferred to the Ateneo De Manila University.
UV team captain John Abad, however, is in favor for the abolition of the rule. “There should be continued exposure,” Abad said.
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