Tigers still fighting for Cameroonian Akomo’s eligibility
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 04, 2017 08:19 PM
BIG THINGS. Steve Akomo represents the promise of better play for UST.
Even before last season ended, University of Sto. Tomas head coach Boy Sablan was already singing the praises of Steve Akomo.
However, Sablan may have to wait a little longer for Akomo to get the chance to prove him right.
The UAAP revealed on Monday that the Cameroonian is ineligible to play for the Tigers in Season 80.
Akomo is yet to complete the two-year residency for foreign student-athletes, according to the ruling of the eligibility committee.
Like the University of the Philippines is doing with Malinese Ibrahim Quattara and transferee Rob Ricafort, however, the Espana-based squad is not about to give up on Akomo’s eligibility that easy.
“I’m not sure yet, pero baka mag-appeal kami,” Sablan shared with reporters.
The incoming second-year head coach then went on to say that, as far as he knows, foreign student-athletes only have to sit out one season while also citing the case of former UST big man Karim Abdul. “Si Karim, ‘di naman nag-two years bago makalaro sa UST; one year lang. Bakit (si Akomo), ‘di makakapaglaro? Dahil galing sa Cebu,” he mused.
He then continued, “(Si Akomo), three years sa Cebu, one year na sa UST. Mas matagal pa nga siya sa Pilipinas kay Karim. ‘Di ko alam ano issue ng board.”
According to UAAP Board of Managing Directors member member Ronualdo Dizer, the ineligibility of UST’s Akomo and UP’s Quattara and Ricafort was just a recommendation and the final say is with the UAAP Board of Trustees. “Basing it on the two-year residency rule [for foreigners] during the time of [Ben] Mbala, they are recommending non-eligibility to the Board of Trustees,” he said.
The Board of Trustees, made up of the presidents of all member-schools, will convene by Tuesday for a final decision.
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