Limpag: Naturalization, imports and the college game

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I GOT a very interesting e-mail recently regarding my previous column on Gilas’ plans to naturalized NBA stars (The best Filipinos money can buy) and the writer, wanting to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of his insights, pointed out the stance of some coaches--whether pro or anti--may be hypocritical.

Why is that? Because the college game is already full of foreign players, save for some schools who can’t afford them or simply refuse to have them on board and go local.

He wrote,”I have also read before your stand on foreigners suiting up for our local schools. I see no benefit for our local sports development programs as this is going to deprive our local players slots on the teams which would have been theirs. And besides this does not provide an equal playing field for the different schools as only those who can afford one gets to have the chance to win. This was clearly shown in the last season of Cesafi wherein the top three positions were garnered by schools who have foreigners in the team.”

He said the recruitment process of imports has become an industry of sorts, where agents peddle them to the highest bidders. He also praised schools like the University of Cebu, whose law dean Atty. Baldomero Estenzo is leading the petition against the naturalization of the two NBA players, for fielding a squad of all local players.

“And also you probably know that these players are recieving hefty ‘allowances’ or should I say talent fees and most demand to stay, in hotels or pension houses while our local players are recieving much, much less. And besides do they even really attend classes? All in all it seems to be a booming business by some recruiters who peddle these foreigners to the highest bidders. The reasons against having them around can go on and on. I just hope the cesafi will soon realize all this things and puts a stop to it,” he wrote.

His is not the only complaint I got regarding the recruitment process of foreigners by some schools. In one famous case just last year, two big schools from Manila was fighting over a Cesafi import, and do you what one insider told me when the school finally signed him up? Fifteen million pesos changed hands.

For an import in a collegiate leage, not the pros.

Now you see why this stinks big time?

(mikelimpag@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2014.

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