Monday, March 11, 2013

Winners and losers of the “Jerie Pingoy rule”


Winners:

Big UAAP programs – A lot of money is now being invested in UAAP schools even in the high school level.  There are many competitions now that pit players in different age groups.  Schools now hire more coaches, scouts, and other staff that can create a pipeline of basketball superstars. The new rule somehow protects the supposed “investment” of the basketball programs.  The rule also prevent poaching from other schools although, nothing can stop UAAP schools from poaching these players earlier.  Some schools have varsity teams that can be 4 to 5 team deep and many people put a lot of value with championships even at the lower levels.

NCAA – The absence of a similar rule will now somehow give the NCAA a new source of college stars.  Before, it was typically a one-way street as countless of San Beda Cubs stars transformed into UAAP heroes after developing under the famed San Beda Juniors program.  The Jerie Pingoy Rule will make some UAAP Jrs. Starters think about moving to the other Metro Manila collegiate league.

Smaller Collegiate leagues – Similar to the NCAA, other smaller leagues can now acquire the services of former UAAP high school players.  They can somehow say to a potential UAAP dreamer to star for them for one year and get more seasoning before transferring again to their dream UAAP School.

Local players – The new rule also gives Filipino players more playing opportunities as the new rule could discourage some quality foreign players in playing at the UAAP.  UAAP schools though could create a pipeline of foreigners who can be their import in the next campaign.  It will be somehow more costly to schools in keeping these foreigners as normally they would have to shoulder some expenses for foreigners to just sit out 2 seasons and many things can happen in those 2 seasons.

Losers:

UP – The University of the Philippines does not have the financial backing to support a talent-rich basketball program.  Homegrown basketball stars are quite rare of the Maroons. Normally, UP relies on external recruitment for their Senior’s program.  They have gotten many players from San Beda but they also had acquired services from players of Ateneo, FEU, and NU.  If the players need to sit out 2 years, UP will be somehow strained financially as they will support more varsity players but they can only start playing them after 2 years. Most likely, UP will be languishing in the UAAP standings in the next 10 years.

ADMU – The Ateneo de Manila University is also a loser as they are the country’s most popular collegiate basketball team.  Many young players play hard in high school with dreams of donning the Blue Eagle jersey.  Although Ateneo can always tap their best high school stars, their drive for more championships usually lead to players from other places. If you make a survey of what is the dream school of next year’s batch of high school seniors in the UAAP Jrs. Tournament, most likely most players will list Ateneo.  It is a loss for Ateneo but not a big loss.  They can afford players like Jerie Pingoy to sit for 2 years.  They are just in a way hurting the FEU Tamaraws by getting the supposed next great FEU guard.

Parents – Parents of student athletes will now have to select the college where their children will play as early as the child hits high school.  It might be too early but they early have to somehow chart the basketball futures of their children. 

Underutilized high school basketball stars – Not all players are like Jerie Pingoy or Kiefer Ravena.  For every star like Ravena, there will be 4 to 5 who do not get elevated to the senior’s team.  Some have the patience to languish in Team B or Team C but some would rather play in a rival school and try to rub it to the faces of those who denied them a chance for collegiate stardom. It is not going to be easy anymore unless a player has the humility to play for a smaller league.

UAAP Basketball has been the glamour sport of the league and it has become a big business.  Players are now viewed more as commodities and assets and probably people are putting to much weight on basketball, a sport where the Philippines cannot get a medal or even just qualify in World-level competitions.  I cannot blame UAAP schools and their management though as UAAP Basketball is giving many of these schools exposure.  Many high school students choose a certain school because of their cool UAAP program even if they are not athletes. The UAAP coolness factor could even be more important than to board exam history of schools for some kids. The power of traditional media and social media has made the UAAP bigger than ever.  The rule has its benefits and weaknesses but eventually people will just adjust and the rule will just become the norm and people will not complain about it anymore.  

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