MANILA, Philippines – The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) board has submitted a proposal to stop the recruitment of foreign student athletes or imports starting in 2015.
According to a report on Spin.ph by journalist Reuben Terrado, the amendment to the league rules will still need the approval from the eight member-schools.
“We are moving into stopping the recruitment of foreign players. Eventually, there will be no foreign players in the UAAP,” said UAAP secretary treasurer Rod Roque.
Roque said they have decided to pursue a ban on imports to give local players more playing time. This, he said, will help the locals develop into better athletes.
“We want to give chances to the Filipino [athlete]. Sila dapat ang nag-bebenefit doon sa nakukuha ng foreigner. That is why we would like to level the playing field,” he said.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) enforced a similar ban as league officials believe that the presence of foreign players have stunted the development of the locals.
But sports blogger Jude Roque believes that the UAAP should only regulate the entry of imports instead of banning foreign players outright.
"Sa palagay ko dapat i-limit lang sa isa, huwag naman totally i-ban kasi medyo bordering on racial discrimination," the San Beda Red Lions team manager said in an interview on ABS-CBN Sports+Action's The Score.
He added that the presence of imports helps locals improve their game because they are forced to compete against bigger and better players.