Foreign players cry foul, Tiukinhoy explains new rules

By: Jonas Rey N. Panerio August 21,2018 - 10:01 PM

FOREIGN student-athletes who are competing in the 2018 season of the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament expressed their disappointment over the decision of the league to prohibit foreigners from participating in 2021.

The ruling was announced by Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy during the league’s launching on Monday afternoon at the Harolds Hotel.

“We made that decision because we want to have a level playing field and most of the Cesafi member schools cannot afford to have their own foreign players,” explained

Tiukinhoy, adding that these foreign players have bigger allowances at the expense of the local players.

The University of the Visayas’ Bassiere Sackour of Liberia was saddened with the development. He said that for someone like him who don’t have the means to afford a good education, basketball has offered him a precious opportunity.

“First, that will not be good for us the foreign players, because some of us want to go to school and play basketball, but we don’t have support so we make use of basketball to get the scholarships to go to school,” said Sackour, who has helped the Green Lancers win back-to-back titles in the men’s basketball tournament.

“Second, Filipino will have a hard time when they play against foreign players since they won’t be used to it anymore. And the Cesafi won’t be as great to watch any more also,” the 6-foot-7 forward said.

Sackour’s sentiments was echoed by Richy Managor, who hails from Nigeria but is now playing for the University of Southern Philippines Foundation. His brother, Sommy, is also set to suit up for the University of San Carlos this season.

“The opportunity we have to study and get our degree will be taken away from us. Like for me, studies comes first before basketball and if I can’t play, that means I can’t study and it will destroy so many lives which the game of basketball would have built,” asserted Managor. The growth of the local basketball players will also be stunted, said Managor.

“It will also make the local players average. It would probably inhibit their growth of playing professional basketball outside of the Philippines.”

However, Tiukinhoy said that we should be realistic about basketball.“We give too much attention to basketball when, in fact, we can excel more in individual events like weightlifting, triathlon, marathon, swimming, taekwondo and others and we already proved it. It takes 12 men to win a single gold medal compared to individual events,” added Tiukinhoy.

The University of Cebu’s Frederick Elombe, who comes from the Cameroon, shared his belief that sports should be a universal domain for everyone. “To be honest, limiting some people based on one or two specifications or facts seems somehow sad,” Elombe said.

“This decision which seems fair to the Cesafi’s governing board, on the other hand, will greatly limit achievements and a way forward for foreign players. It be best if such an experience isn’t snatched from others coming after us. This decision might take away career goals and dreams for some foreign players.”

The Cesafi is giving the current foreign players currently enrolled here a grace period as the new ruling will be implemented in 2021 yet. “By the time that the new rule will be implemented, these foreign players that are studying in Cesafi schools are already graduates of their respective courses. /WITH GLENDALE G. ROSAL

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TAGS: cry, explains, foreign, foul, new, players, rules', tiukinhoy
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