Lions might drop to 4th on playerâ€™s DQ
MANILA, Philippines - Although they claimed there has been no formal protest filed against guard Ryusei Koga, the San Beda Red Lions welcomed the NCAA’s probe on the cager’s alleged violation of league rules prohibiting players’ participation in “outside tournaments” during the season.
At the same time, San Beda team manager Jude Roque said the Lions, who finished No. 1 in the elims, are not letting the issue cloud their focus and disrupt their preparations for their Final Four duel with fourth-seed Perpetual on Thursday.
“There was really no protest filed by any school, none that we know of. We just heard that they’ve formed an investigating committee that had started its investigation but there was no formal notice, no communication between the league and the school,” said Roque.
“If it’s true they’ve already started an investigation, we’ll just wait (for whatever they (NCAA) will come up with). We’ll cooperate if they need assistance,” he added.
Koga reportedly played in an inter-barangay tourney in Parañaque last Sept. 17, which if proven accurate, would have violated NCAA rules and could lead to forfeiture of all matches he played from the time he allegedly committed the violation. San Beda risks plummeting to fourth spot in the Final Four if Koga would be found guilty.
“I just hope, since it’s taking them long to give a notice, they will not all of a sudden change the standings because that would be unfair. They have to give us time (to respond),” said Roque.
NCAA management committee chair Dax Castellano of St. Benilde heads a six-man committee tasked to look into the issue. He claimed to have received “some evidence, including video purportedly showing Koga in action” but maintained they still need to verify it.
While the probe is ongoing, Roque said it’s business as usual at the camp of the four-peat-seeking Red Lions.
“On our end, we’re not really taking the issue to heart. Since there’s no notice (from the NCAA), normal routine kami. We’re preparing for the Final Four, we’re preparing against Perpetual,” said Roque.
“Normal lang lahat sa amin (It’s all normal here). We don’t even want to confront Koga about the issue. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no issue, everything are just rumors,” he added.
The Lions just took a two-day breather from practices beginning yesterday and will immediately get back to work on Sunday.