With or without De Liaño, UP is ready

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    HAVE we seen the last of prized University of the Philippines playmaker Juan Gomez de Liaño in the UAAP?

    That’s uncertain, for now, but Fighting Maroons coach Bo Perasol said whatever happens, he and his squad are ready.

    “I signed a letter of consent to let him (De Liaño) play because I was informed of the GAB exception. In the end, what’s important is we are all aware of the possible consequences. No blind sides,” Perasol told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

    “We all discussed those possibilities, so, we are all aware of everything and we are ready as well,” he added.

    The 6-foot-2 de Liaño was given a special guest license by the Games and Amusements Board to suit up for Nueva Ecija in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM, a pro league, despite his status as an amateur.

    GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra confirmed that the government’s policy-making agency for pro sports granted De Liaño’s request.

    “We have issued a GAB special guest license to them. We are the GAB and not the UAAP,” said Mitra.

    “They are not under us, but we accommodate requests. We respect the UAAP and they respect us.”

    Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Commissioner Eric Altamirano also stressed that the 3×3 league’s players don’t lose their amateur status.

    “When you play in our league, even if it’s a pro league, you don’t lose your amateur status,” Altamirano said last Tuesday in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast.

    “We have some players under that status, meaning guest sila sa pro league ng 3×3 and when they go back, they’re still gonna be able to play there.”

    Perasol said he and De Liaño are ready if the latter’s eligibility to play for two more years for UP would be under the microscope from the UAAP Board of Managing Directors.

    “Juan is aware of all the consequences,” said Perasol.“Of course, the UAAP Board of Managing Directors will have to deliberate on that when the time comes.”