Cani cleared to play for Ateneo in UAAP 78

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--The Ateneo Blue Eagles were given the best news of the day as point-guard Hubert Cani was finally cleared to play by the UAAP Board in the 78th season on Tuesday.

Multiple sources said that the former Finals MVP in UAAP 76 for Nazareth School-NU Bullpups can now play for the Blue Eagles after he sat out last season to comply with the controversial two-year residency rule for high school athletes moving to another school for colleges.

This was the same rule that forced highly touted guard Jerie Pingoy to sat out for two years. It was the crucial off-court factor that made the Blue Eagles miss the Final Four in Season 76 and bombed out in the playoffs of the following season after finishing as the top seed after the eliminations.

Cani was given the green light to play for the former five-peat champions in a Board meeting which was on going as of this writing.

The clearance said was due in part of the signing of RA 10676 or Student-Athlete Protection Act by the President exactly a week ago.

The Blue Eagles will now have a loaded recruiting class for this year, after getting twins Mike and Matt Nieto from Ateneo High School and Aaron Black, Ikeh Chibueze and Pingoy from Team B.

Third-year coach Bo Perasol will lean on the leadership of final-year cagers Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal as they try to get their ninth UAAP title after joining the league from the NCAA in 1978.