Lipa City, Batangas
October 27, 2013
Lets do the Koga
Sportsmaryosep has been in hibernation for weeks solely because my pregnant wife is due for our first child any time this month. But because of a sudden turn of events, we were forced to come out of it needing to write this one.
You see, San Beda could be in…how can we put it? Trouble? Deep shit? This is because there are allegations that its guard, Ryusei Koga, was said to have been found to have played a basketball game outside the ongoing 89th NCAA cage season, which is in direct violation of league rules prohibiting all the players from doing so. There were allegedly videos to prove Koga indeed played. If it is true, then all the Lions’ games will be forfeited. Meaning, San Beda, which just sealed the top seeding for the eight straight seasons, could end up one and done.
Sportsmaryosep didn’t get to see the video but we dug deeper into the case and asked people. In an interview by The Philippine STAR, a source privy to the league board has this to say: “There were talks that he (Koga) played somewhere in Paranaque. It should be verified because the league rule states that it if indeed he played there during the season, San Beda games where he played from the time he committed the violation shall be forfeited.” The said source says the league Management Committee, however, has yet to officially sit on and discuss the issue and no official complaint has been lodged yet so the possibility of the Koga accusation may not prosper. The only chance of the matter be taken in the Mancom’s Tuesday board meeting, he stresses, is if someone raised it up for discussion. “Not all the Mancom members have knowledge about it but there are five board members who are already aware of the issue. The Mancom will meet on Tuesday but its not in the agenda. If someone raised it, it may be discussed,” the source adds.
We also asked the San Beda people and only one cared to reply. And its San Beda athletic director Ato Badolato. His response: “Still investigating.”
Spin.ph’s controversial and enemy-riddled Snow Badua got to talk with San Beda team manager Jude Roque and the 19-year-old Koga himself. And here’s how it went. “Hindi, may sakit lang kasi siya. Two days siya hindi nakapag-practice. Although he was feeling better yesterday, hindi na namin siya pinaglaro. Nadinig nga namin yung claim na ‘yun kahapon. Pero kami naman maghihintay lang kami ng report from the NCAA mancom. Wala pa kaming natatanggap na complain o protesta. Hindi rin kami aware dun …. Pero meron na kaming narinig na tsismis na ganoon.”
As for Koga, he has these to say: “Noong summer pa po ‘yun. Matagal na po ‘yun. Hindi ko nga po alam kung bakit naging issue pa.Kung may tanong po kayo kay Sir Jude na lang.”
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: Of course, Koga should be punished if it is true because San Beda will carry the burden of his mistake, which, just what I’ve said, will mean the season for the Lions. But I couldn’t imagine if its indeed true and the league, with all its bravado, punishes San Beda with forfeiture of all of its games. And knowing San Beda, the dynastic rule of this generation, it will not fade into the night quietly. All hell will break loose for sure. I’m also not discounting the possibility of a legal battle. That will be destructive for everyone in the NCAA, which is already being ridiculed in Twitter with this irritating albeit deserving hashtag #HindiPaTaposAngNCAA. Before anything else, I wish everyone to stay calm, wait for official word to come out and not make hasty conclusions. Because if things got blown out of proportion, its going to be World War Z.
Update: After this blog was written, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez texted Sportsmaryosep. He was calm about it. Here’s his message: “We are still waiting for the official advice from the NCAA.”
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photo from University Basketball League)