The Mapua Cardinals got a big boost to their Season 88 campaign after the NCAA Policy Board allowed rookies Gab Banal, Joseph Eriobu, Jessie Saitanan and Mark Braña to join the team.
The four newcomers were earlier disallowed by the league’s management committee from suiting up because of eligibility issues, but Mapua appealed the decision to the NCAA.
“We’re all very happy sa result and decision,” said Mapua coach Chito Victolero. “We prepared with them naman the whole summer.”
Victolero said the players might see action either on Thursday against Lyceum or on Monday against Letran, pending the submission of some documents. Some issues about the eligibility of the players were raised because Mapua uses four-quarter terms for its school year, unlike other schools which use semesters or tri-mesters.
“Di pa sure kung kung maglalaro sa Thursday kasi may ipe-present pang documents re: 1st term enrollment ngayon. Pero if ‘di makahabol sa game sa Thursday, by Monday na sila makakalaro.”
Among the rookies, expected to make a big impact is Banal, a transferee from De La Salle University. He is a former national youth team standout and son of former Alaska coach Joel Banal.
The Cardinals have won two straight games after dropping their opening-day match against Jose Rizal University.