No complaint filed: Ateneo's Kouame eligible to play for Season 82 based on UAAP present rule

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2019 02:11 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2019 06:58 PM

MANILA -- Unless someone files an official complaint to the UAAP Board, Angelo Kouame is all set to play for Ateneo de Manila University this season amid reports of his ineligibility based on the league rules for foreign student-athletes.

UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag cleared on Sunday after a press conference that the rule cited in several reports claiming that the Ateneo slotman was ineligible to play last season, had been repealed and amended. 

“Wala nang bisa ‘yun,” Saguisag said. 

Saguisag revealed the new rule: If you are a foreign student-athlete and you are a high school graduate, you only have to satisfy 2 things: to graduate in a school in the Philippines; and must have attended at least one full academic year.

“In the case of Kouame, pwede na direct play,” the UAAP official said.

“But if you are a foreign student athlete from abroad you have to sit out,” he clarified.

Kouame graduated from Multiple Intelligence International School in Quezon City 2018 before playing for the Blue Eagles later the same year. 

Saguisag was also puzzled on the reports released just days before the opening of the new season. However, he just took it as a good publicity stunt for the league.

“Para ba may mapagusapan? I dont know. And why bring it up so close to the opening? Remember kung last year siya (Kouame) ineligible, why did it take everyone a year to notice it? Bad publicity is good publicity,” Saguisag told ABS-CBN News.

Sagisag stressed that there should be no confusion on Kouame’s case as there was no complaint filed over his residency. Even the person who asked the board last Tueday accepted the explanation given. 

According to him, should there be a question, it should be elevated to the board of trustees.

“As we speak, wala pang umangat na reklamo or inquiry on the issues. Why? Because the rule is clear,” Saguisag explained. 

Earlier reports said some member schools demanded an inquiry over the eligibility of Kouame. According to them, the Ateneo center should have sat down last season citing the rule applied to high school foreign graduates from a non-UAAP school.

The rule stated, “a foreign student-athlete high school graduate from a non-UAAP member school must establish one year of continuous academic residency in college, but such residency shall not be considered as a playing year for the purpose of determining the maximum number of years he/she will be eligible to play in the UAAP."

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.