UAAP to finally allow SGL athletes

UAAP executive director Rebo Sagisag revealed that there are amendments on the league's rules regarding athletes with special guest licenses. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The UAAP has loosened its stand on athletes who have played in professional leagues under a special guest license provided by the Games and Amusements Board.

However, according to UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag, a criteria must be met before UAAP member schools can recruit athletes with SGLs.

"May limitations siya. One is that you have to sit out one year of residency," Saguisag bared the first rule during the Season 86 launch at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

That means amateur players who are playing this year in the pro ranks via the SGL but wish to move to the UAAP must sit out Season 87 and could only be eligible come Season 88.

Saguisag added, "The number of the years you played as a professional athlete will be counted also as playing years."

For example, an amateur player who has played in the pros through the SGL for one year will only have four playing years left once he enters the UAAP, and another amateur athlete who has already played for four years under an SGL will essentially become a one-and-done in the UAAP.

Lastly, according to Saguisag, the new SGL rule will only apply for college players outside of the UAAP but wish to transfer to one of the eight member schools.

"Most importantly, you must not have enrolled in a UAAP member school prior to turning pro," Saguisag said.

The third criteria implies that the UAAP would still not allow its homegrown athletes to obtain an SGL from GAB.

"Ang reasoning namin doon, if you're already playing in one of these eight member schools, you are already constructively notified. Alam mo na yan, eh," Saguisag explained.

When GAB introduced the SGL in 2020 which allows college players to play in the pros without losing their amateur statuses especially that they were eager to play then amid the COVID-19 pandemic, only the UAAP remained defiant about the rule.

University of the Philippines' Juan Gomez De LiaƱo was hit hard by the UAAP's stand on SGL then as the league disallowed him to return to the Fighting Maroons after he saw action in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 that year in Calamba City, prompting him to fully turn pro.

Three years later, with no major virus scare to worry about, the UAAP, although not totally yet, finally softened its stance.

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