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SBP willing to tackle collegiate poaching

(Middle) SBP executive director Erika Dy

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will be ready should collegiate leagues seek their assistance to prevent poaching among the country’s top student-athletes.

Newly-appointed SBP executive director Erika Dy told Daily Tribune that they can lend a hand to the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and National Collegiate Athletic Association if ever they want their help in putting an end to poaching cases among college stars.

Poaching has been rampant among college teams.

Recently, Cebu-based hotshot Jared Bahay made a shocking announcement of decommitting from University of the Philippines — one of the country’s richest and most prestigious programs.

Although Bahay has yet to reveal his new school, sideliners believe he walked away from the Fighting Maroons to entertain more generous offers from reigning UAAP champion De La Salle University or Ateneo de Manila University.

The same thing happened to San Beda University, which is still fresh from winning the NCAA crown.

Star playmaker Jacob Cortez finally put an end to speculations when he revealed that he will be leaving San Beda to join La Salle, which used to be the school of his father, former Philippine Basketball Association star Mike Cortez.

Dy, who used to be the head coach of the Ateneo women’s basketball team, admitted that collegiate leagues are governed by their own set of rules but they can sit down and put it on the agenda if ever they solicit their support.

“It has to be within their own rules being independent bodies,” Dy, who formally replaced longtime basketball executive Renauld “Sonny” Barrios a few weeks ago, said in a short message.

“The SBP can assist them if help is needed in this area. For sure, a convention must happen soon between the SBP and its members to preserve the integrity of the game.”

Cases of poaching are rocking collegiate basketball to its core.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann, a former UAAP commissioner, said they are already checking if the government can step in and have a say in regulating player transfers since the UAAP and the NCAA technically have amateur status.

Former PBA commissioner Noli Eala rings the alarm bells over poaching of players, saying that it defeats the purpose of amateurism.

“It’s not a good thing to see and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth,” Eala, a former SBP executive director, said.

“We should start regulating it and it might go out of hand. In the US, there are legislations, decisions up to the supreme court, regulating the US NCAA.”

“Here, we’ve heard there were offers as much as a house and lot and even business being given to these players by the alumni, patrons of these schools. It’s not good for the league.”

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