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6 players who should be playing in UAAP Season 78's Men's Basketball tourney but are not.
by rick olivares pic by mark cristino
Ben Mbala - La Salle
No doubt a casualty of the boardroom wars when La Salle's representative voted against Jerie Pingoy suiting up for Ateneo. In retaliation, a motion was put forward for foreign (read: African) players to suit out two seasons if they transfer colleges; another unfair rule but on par for a league that constantly looks for ways to handicap one another.
Normally, a player who transfers from one college to another has to sit out a year. As it is, Ben has sat out two years and will do so again this season for playing in an unsanctioned league. That's three seasons wasted as it has derailed La Salle's plans for an extended title reign. It has also denied fans a view of this talented and much-hyped player.
Jay Javelosa - Ateneo
I don't understand why he isn't in the lineup or why he isn't given a chance. While in grade school at Ateneo, he ran the point guard position. He was played as a center in high school simply because he was tall. He can play it but it is not his best position. At best, he's a three or four. He can dribble that ball, pass, shoot (from medium range as well as the three), and defend. I don't think they even used him properly in his freshman year. What a waste.
Mark Dyke - Who knows where he is
At 6'2" he was an undersized forward-center who got by on his athleticism. And the Pampanga native helped the NU Bullpups to a UAAP Juniors title. Word is he was all set to start for the NU seniors team when he suddenly disappeared -- to use the NU people's terms -- and appeared at the La Salle camp. At the time the Residency Rules were in place he was alleged to have gone back to the Sampaloc-based school but the atmosphere had changed. Then he vanished again without a word burning whatever was left of the bridge that he already put to torch.
Said one person affiliated with the Bulldogs, "It is fine if he wants to go La Salle. The problem is he made a verbal commitment, asked all sorts of things, was on the team's plans and then rather than talk, he just left.
Mark is nowhere to be found although some say he is now ensconced in DLSU.
Roi Sumang - UE
The second high-profile Red Warrior NOT to play his final season since Paul Lee in 2010. Had a miserable Season 77 where he clashed with his coach Derrick Pumaren. Snubbed for the most part during the recent PBA Draft by teams until late in the draft. Word though is he was able to get a contract. Other notable players who also skipped their last year include Arnold Van Opstal, Rico Maierhofer, and Terrence Romeo to name a few.
Sumang pleaded a hardship case which is why he needed to earn a living for his family. Who are we to deny him that?
Matt Aquino - Adamson
Tall like his father. Yet not yet like his father when he was playing. Marlou Aquino was already a force in high school. After Kenneth Duremdes was removed as head coach from his alma mater, Adamson, his coaching staff left too. And Matt was also pulled out in the middle of the summer tournaments to transfer to NU where he is serving his residency.
Thirdy Ravena - Ateneo
Showed a lot of improvement during the tryouts for Sinag. He had gotten more confident and stronger. Unfortunately, some academic deficiencies knocked him out of Ateneo's lineup for the season.