PH collegiate sports

No-go pro: UAAP maintains stance on disallowing pro guest licenses for athletes

JR Isaga

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No-go pro: UAAP maintains stance on disallowing pro guest licenses for athletes

COLLEGE STARS. La Salle volleyball player Angel Canino and Ateneo basketball player Kai Ballungay in the UAAP Season 85

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

The UAAP is not following the NCAA's lead in allowing its athletes to play in professional leagues, insisting that such instances give amateur athletes 'undue advantage' over the rest

MANILA, Philippines – Sports fans will have to wait for their favorite UAAP athletes to either finish their college eligibility or revoke their remaining years before seeing action in the professional ranks, as the top collegiate league definitively shut down any chances of lending its athletes away.

During the UAAP Season 86 kickoff press conference, longtime executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag said that the league is maintaining its stance on not honoring special guest licenses (SGL) handed out by the pro league regulatory body Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

Saguisag only made special mention of the PBA in the presser, but later clarified that the rule also extends to “clearly professional” leagues like the Premiere Volleyball League (PVL) and the Philippines Football League (PFL).

“With the other sports that are not similarly situated, we will consider,” the amiable executive said. “The thing is, we realize the rules tend to be basketball-centric, and we have come up with different permutations per sporting event per division which may be evaluated.”

“GAB has made it clear from the time of chairman [Abraham] Mitra that they will not impose. As far as we’re concerned, the SGL has no effect on our rules. The leagues remain to be pro and you will gain an undue advantage when you participate in a league that’s professional.”

Saguisag further explained that only the likes of chess and other sports which have no established professional leagues can get special consideration from the UAAP.

“By nature, chess is different in that players have no salaries nor licenses despite playing in a ‘professional league.’ In short, even without an SGL, if you participate in professional leagues that are not really professional, you may be able to participate in the UAAP.”

Today, only the NCAA – the UAAP’s direct counterpart – is honoring GAB’s SGLs.

Multiple basketball players that have since returned to their college teams suited up in the PBA On Tour exhibition series, while NCAA volleyball players like reigning MVP Mary Rhose Dapol got real rotation minutes in the recent PVL Invitational Conference.

For now, UAAP players may only appear in pro leagues under a school-based, team-wide capacity, as was the case with teams in the PBA D-League and the PVL’s V-League Collegiate Conference. –

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