SUD­DEN IM­PACT

BE­ING A HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS STAR DOESN’T AL­WAYS MEAN ONE WILL SHINE INTHE UL­TRA COM­PET­I­TIVE REALM OF COL­LEGE BALL. SO WHYTAKETHE RISK WHEN YOU CAN PRY AWAY PLAY­ERS WHO ARE AL­READY MAK­ING A NAME FORTHEM­SELVES IN COL­LEGE LEAGUES?

Rebound Magazine - - NCAA|UAAPTRANSFEREES - By Rick Olivares

When Nor­man Black first saw Nonoy Ba­clao play, the lanky 6’4” for­ward was play­ing for West Ne­gros Univer­sity in the Uni-Games. Ba­clao was re­ject­ing ev­ery weak ass shot in sight that saw his fel­low Mus­tangs get out on the break.

The Ate­neo Blue Ea­gles coach saw vi­sions of Ba­clao turn­ing the shaded lane into a no-fly zone with the out­let pass flicked to a sprint­ing Eric Sala­mat or Chris Tiu.

And not soon af­ter that, fan­tasy turned into re­al­ity as Ba­clao cap­tained Ate­neo to two UAAP ti­tles.

GO EAST, YOUNG MAN

Just how com­pet­i­tive has col­lege bas­ket­ball be­come?

Gone are the days when teams were en­tirely home­grown. Schools to­day are con­stantly look­ing for ways to beef up their squads and that in­cludes read­ing the fine print of their re­spec­tive league’s rules and reg­u­la­tions for any ad­van­tage. Any­thing and ev­ery­thing. And that in­cludes re­cruit­ing.

With vague rules in place, La Salle brought over Fil-Amer­i­cans whose tal­ent, train­ing, and mixed genes gave them a huge ad­van­tage.

The Lago brothers were a huge part of their late 80’s and early 90’s dom­i­nance. They turned up the jets later on with the en­try of Don Al­lado, Mike Cortez, Willy Wil­son, and Manny Ramos. Ul­ti­mately, the league – un­fairly though --clamped down on their for­mula for suc­cess.

As a re­sult, any­one com­ing over from abroad would have

to sit out two years be­fore he could play. It cur­tailed La Salle’s re­cruit­ing as they set their sights on do­mes­tic tal­ent.

It would be years later be­fore the col­le­giate sports land­scape would see a new trend emerge.

THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY

In 2006, Nige­rian Sam Ekwe en­tered San Beda Col­lege where he re­port­edly wanted to be­come a pri­est. Boosh­wah. Ekwe in­stead spread the gospel of Red Lions bas­ket­ball to an NCAA that was caught flat-footed and un­pre­pared for the be­he­moth in­side the lane. The Nige­rian pow­ered the Red Lions to three ti­tles.

The suc­cess of San Beda saw al­most ev­ery Manila school fol­low that for­mula for suc­cess think­ing that an African would be the great Ekwe-lizer for them against the more mon­eyed schools.

In the NCAA, Jose Rizal Univer­sity fol­lowed suit fol­lowed by Arel­lano Univer­sity. Over at the UAAP, five schools now have Africans in their line­ups. Even STI that plays in NAASCU fielded one of their own. Yes, STI.

While the in­flux of Africans is “legal”, ques­tions arise out of the ethics in­volved. Are they le­git­i­mate stu­dents or are they col­le­giate ver­sions of round­ball mer­ce­nar­ies? Never mind if some of them have not panned out. Even as the de­bate rages on the cor­rect­ness of their re­cruit­ment, some teams have be­gun look­ing for sure­fire help – to other schools. The col­lege trans­feree.

THE MISS­ING PIECE

While hardly new, when used prop­erly, the trans­feree can be the miss­ing piece to a cham­pi­onship. The trans­feree, to dif­fer­en­ti­ate him­self from mas­teral stu­dent, is one who has played else­where be­fore be­ing re­cruited or pi­rated away. He’s a proven player and would make a great ad­di­tion to an­other team.

One nor­mally has to sit out ei­ther a year or two be­fore see­ing ac­tion and the years alone are some­times a put off to po­ten­tial re­cruits. But some­times, it can well be worth the wait.

Some two decades be­fore Ba­clao helped Ate­neo to vic­tory, La Salle brought in the rugged and tough Ge­orge Per­alta from PATTS (Philip­pine Air Trans­port and Train­ing Ser­vices) Col­lege to play in­side be­side young cen­ter Zan­dro Lim­pot. It took a year be­fore the Green Archers lifted their first UAAP ti­tle.

Nowa­days, not only are teams look­ing for their own ver­sion of Ba­clao as a de­fen­sive player who can al­ter games but also a player who has been sea­soned else­where and can be the miss­ing piece to a cham­pi­onship puz­zle.

This com­ing bas­ket­ball sea­son, sev­eral teams have re­ceived a boost with trans­fer­ees and look to make a big splash. Greg Slaugh­ter from the Univer­sity of Visayas to Ate­neo de Manila Univer­sity

Slaugh­ter first came to promi­nence in 2007 when he led the Green Lancers to the ti­tle game of the Cham­pi­ons League. Only he ran against Ba­clao and Rabeh Al-Hus­saini as Ate­neo an­nexed the first of their three na­tional ti­tles.

The 6’11” cen­ter from West Vir­ginia moved to Cebu which was his mother’s home­town. But af­ter join­ing Smart Gi­las Pilip­inas, Slaugh­ter looked to trans­fer to

Manila be­cause he was miss­ing so much of the train­ing.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, Slaugh­ter wasn’t re­cruited by Ate­neo. It was his choice to trans­fer there. “I didn’t just come back to the Philip­pines to play bas­ket­ball,” said the mas­sive cen­ter. “I also came here to get a de­gree.”

Slaugh­ter has long been in­trigued about study­ing at Ate­neo and hav­ing been around sev­eral for­mer Blue Ea­gles in the na­tional team, he didn’t need much con­vinc­ing (to the cha­grin of his UV coach). And the big kid, who had im­proved by leaps and bounds since han­dled by na­tional coach Ra­jko Toro­man, has made Ate­neo fa­vorites to an­nex a fourth straight ti­tle. Arvie Bringas from De La Salle Univer­sity to Far East­ern Univer­sity

At this point, it is un­clear if Bringas will be al­lowed to suit up for the Ta­ma­raws given the less than am­i­ca­ble de­par­ture from La Salle where he had an up and down first year.

And he joins his brother Mark, a cast­away from San Se­bas­tian af­ter he clashed with for­mer head coach Ato Agustin in a still tal­ented cast in Mo­rayta. Should he suit up, the younger Bringas will be a huge ad­di­tion. The loss of cen­ter Reil Cer­vantes and gun­ner Paul Sanga was glar­ing in the pre-sea­son as the Tams be­came more of a guard-ori­ented of­fen­sive team. Arvie’s ad­di­tion should ap­prox­i­mate the in­sid­e­out­side game that FEU lost when Cer­vantes opted to forego his fi­nal year of el­i­gi­bil­ity for the pros. Henri Be­tayene from STI to Na­tional Univer­sity

Raw but un­doubt­edly ath­letic. Sort of like Em­manuel Mbe when he was serv­ing his year of res­i­dency in Sam­paloc with the Bull­dogs.

Be­tayene was lured away by Lawrence Chong­son to join the Univer­sity of the East but the coach’s sub­se­quent re­place­ment with Jerry Codiñera saw the Cameroo­nian dis­placed.

For­mer STI head coach Vic Ycasiano, an as­sis­tant with NU, brought in his for­mer player to the Bull­dogs’ lineup al­though he will be un­able to suit up this com­ing UAAP sea­son be­cause of his res­i­dency pe­riod. John Foronda from Le­tran to UST to Le­tran to Lyceum Univer­sity

Must idol­ize Mike Gali­nato for his wan­der­lust. Even if it’s only a few hun­dred me­ters away from his old Mu­ralla haunts. But with the Lyceum Pi­rates, he looks to have found a home where he not only has play­ing time but has shown what he can do of­fen­sively. Al­lan Santos from Adam­son Univer­sity to Lyceum Univer­sity

A tough for­ward who gave foes fits in the UAAP. But oft was in foul trou­ble be­cause at times, he lacked the height to guard the big­ger for­wards or cen­ters or was un­able to keep up with them. Even­tu­ally fell out of fa­vor with Leo Aus­tria and like Foronda, found a home in In­tra­muros. Sur­pris­ingly, has played with a chip on his shoul­der with the Pi­rates. Gab Ba­nal from De La Salle Univer­sity to Mapúa In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy

A star with the Xavier Stal­lions, Ba­nal found him­self rid­ing the bench in La Salle and fall­ing deeper and deeper into the ro­ta­tion un­til he was an af­ter­thought. Al­though he will miss out a year be­cause of res­i­dency, Ba­nal should add of­fen­sive op­tions to a team that should be re­ally good two years from now. Paul Nuilan Cole­gio de San Juan de Le­tran to Univer­sity of Per­pet­ual Help Sys­tem Dalta Mar­lon Gomez PATTS to Univer­sity of Per­pet­ual Help Sys­tem Dalta

This is the con­tro­ver­sial duo that played so well in the pre-sea­son of Sea­son 86 of the NCAA such that the league authorities de­clared them in­el­i­gi­ble only a few days prior to the start of the sea­son. In­cred­i­bly, in­stead of sort­ing out the mat­ter, the NCAA chose to keep quiet and ig­nore the is­sue while their me­dia cronies kept it out of the press. This year, the two look to be back with a vengeance for the Al­tas, this year’s NCAA host. Robby Celiz and Lee Den­nice Vil­lamor Rizal Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity to Na­tional Univer­sity

These guys are like stealth fight­ers – no fuss bas­ket­ball but they’ll kill you if you don’t take them se­ri­ously.

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