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Cani to still sit out UAAP season despite passing of new student-athlete bill

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Even Sen. Pia Cayetano's Student-Athlete Bill could not stop the UAAP from not letting Hubert Cani play for Ateneo in this year's UAAP season.

On Monday, the league board resolved to impose the controversial two-year residency rule on the former NU Bullpup, effectively taking him off the Blue Eagles' roster.

The UAAP board explained that the said Senate Bill, which became a law recently, will only take effect beginning this year and does not cover the case of Cani, who moved to Ateneo last year, thus putting the league rule colloquially named the "Jerie Pingoy Rule" in effect for him.

Cani would have been teammates with fellow Batang Gilas standout Pingoy at the Blue Eagles camp. The latter was the first big victim of the residency rule when it was passed in 2013 just as he graduated from FEU-FERN and made his intention to go to Ateneo for college.

UP swimmer Mikee Bartolome was also among those who got affected by the redshirting rule, but she got to play for the Maroon tankers and even won golds in the 2013 competition marred by boycotts from the teams that opposed her clearance to play including her high school alma mater UST.

The newly-enacted Student-Athletes Protection Bill bars any collegiate league from implementing a residency rule for high school standouts wishing to go to a different school for college.