USJ-R player Agbong’s eligibility questioned by Cesafi

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | November 12,2023 - 01:30 PM

CESAFI questions Agbong's eligibility. USJ-R's EJ Agbong grabs a rebound during their Cesafi game against UV Green Lancers. | Photo from Sugbuanong Kodaker

USJ-R’s EJ Agbong grabs a rebound during their Cesafi game against UV Green Lancers. | Photo from Sugbuanong Kodaker

CEBU CITY, Philippines — One of University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars men’s basketball team’s reliable forward EJ Agbong is in hot water after his eligibility to continue playing in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) was questioned.

Agbong’s fate for the Jaguars in the Cesafi hangs in the balance after Cesafi deputy commissioner and legal counsel, Boyet Velez, saw some discrepancies on his transcript of records (T.O.R). 

READ: UV outplays USJ-R in Cesafi’s battle of unbeaten teams

Authorization letter

Cesafi initiated an investigation last month after receiving reports that Agbong attended Liceo de Cagayan University as his most recent school and not Jose Rizal University (JRU). 

In a statement released on Sunday, November 12, 2023, Cesafi said that they would be requesting Agbong to sign an authorization letter to secure his Liceo de Cagayan University T.O.R.

It is to let Cesafi compare his records and the records from the Jose Rizal University submitted by the USJ-R to Cesafi’s screening committee. 

READ: Cesafi: Make way for the USJ-R Jaguars

Basis for Cesafi eligibility

The Cesafi rules require an athlete to have their last two semesters attended as the basis for eligibility. Since Agbong attended Liceo de Cagayan University after JRU and this was not disclosed, it is subject for verification.

The problem is, USJ-R officials refused Agbong to sign the authorization letter requested by Cesafi to secure his TOR from Liceo de Cagayan University according to Cesafi’s statement. 

“The screening committee observed that the credentials of Agbong were released from Liceo as early as July 3, 2023 and they wonder why it was not included by USJ-R for screening wherein the deadline of submission on credentials was set on September 8, 2023. Question also arises why USJ-R did not inform CESAFI that Agbong’s last school attended is Liceo,” Cesafi’s statement said. 

Cesafi said that they sent an email to Liceo last November 3 for clarification on the player’s record. Liceo acknowledged the request, but they haven’t received any reply ever since. 

READ: UAAP allowing players with special guest license from other leagues

Cesafi turns to CHED

“Cesafi believes that because of the law on Data Privacy, Liceo will not respond to their request. Thus, in order to find out the truth and to clear the name of Agbong, Cesafi asked the latter to sign an authorization letter but they were refused. Because of this development, Cesafi will be asking the help of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to secure the TOR of Agbong from Liceo. Until Cesafi secures the TOR of Agbong from Liceo, the eligibility of Agbong is still in question,” said Cesafi’s statement.

Agbong’s last game was against the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters where they lost, 59-73, last November 7. 

He tallied eight points for the Jaguars which currently has five wins and two losses at the No. 3 spot in the team standings tied with the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers. 

READ: Cesafi: Panthers tame Mustangs with come-from-behind win in basketball

Agbong’s impact on USJ-R

Agbong’s presence on the floor greatly impacts USJ-R’s season. Missing him on the floor would greatly affect their chances of making it into the final four.

Besides USPF, newcomer Benedicto College Cheetahs has a 4-3 (win-loss) record. 

The Jaguars will face the Cheetahs later today at 3:30 p.m which likely shake the team standings in the college division of Cesafi’s basketball tournament. 

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TAGS: Agbong, Cesafi, Jaguars, Liceo de Cagayan University, USJ-R

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