MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion San Beda College has forfeited two of its games in the NCAA Season 93 men's football tournament, after midfielder Dane Penaflor was found to be ineligible.
That sent the Red Booters skidding from the top spot to fourth place in the Final 4, which begins on Monday at the Rizal Memorial Complex field.
Arellano University's Peter Cayco, who chairs the football tournament's organizing committee, said San Beda sent them a letter admitting that Penaflor was ineligible.
This resulted to the voluntary forfeiture of two of the three games that Penaflor played in. He suited up for the Red Booters in wins against Emilio Aguinaldo College and Mapua University, and a loss to Arellano.
This development cost the Red Booters the top seed and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it. Instead, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde now owns the No. 1 spot.
San Beda fell to No. 4 and forged a dangerous showdown with the Blazers on Monday night.
No. 2 Arellano clashes with No. 3 Lyceum of the Philippines University in the other Final 4 pairing.
"During the eligibility meeting, San Beda and Lyceum of the Philippines University requested that they submit their eligibility requirements in January but we told them they run the risk of forfeiting their games if there are players who will be found to be ineligible later on," Cayco revealed.
"San Beda wrote us that they have discovered that one of their players failed to make the eligibility requirements, so they are voluntary forfeiting the games where the player played," he added.
San Beda actually fell to a three-way tie with EAC and Mapua at No. 4, but the Red Booters emerged with the highest goal differential of 1 to clinch the last spot in the semifinals.
The Juniors' Final 4 also starts Monday with No. 1 La Salle Greenhills battling No. 4 Arellano at 2 p.m. and No. 2 San Beda tangling with No. 3 Letran at 4 p.m. with the top two seeds needing just a win to advance to the best-of-three finals unfurling on Friday.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.