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UAAP forfeits Baby Falcons’ wins over ineligible player

The UAAP board officially forfeited all won games of the Adamson Baby Falcons in the league’s ongoing juniors basketball tournament after star player Florencio “Encho” Serrano was declared ineligible because of incomplete requirements.

University of the East’s Rod Roque, chairman of the league’s eligibility committee, said in a letter dated last Tuesday that Serrano failed to submit a secondary student’s permanent record which would indicate his academic records.

The league didn’t state in detail the said issue but sources said the records of Serrano, a transferee from NCAA powerhouse Malayan High School of Science, had been questioned even before the end of the league’s first round last December.

“The UAAP, during its 8th board regular board meeting, by a unanimous vote with all Member Universities duly represented, declared Mr. Florencio C. Serrano, a member of the AdU High School Basketball Team, INELIGIBLE, to play for UAAP Season 79,” Roque said in the letter.

“With his ineligibility, all games where Serrano played are therefore, FORFEITED, in accordance with existing UAAP rules and regulations,” he added. “Mr. Serrano failed to submit the required Secondary Student’s Permanent Record that would show/indicate his complete high school enrollments/records/credentials.”

Serrano has been on a tear since making his UAAP debut late last year, averaging 18.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 18 minutes per game to lead Adamson to 11 victories in its first 12 games and a Final Four berth. He was also the top contender for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

He also made waves in the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship where he led the Baby Falcons to a thrilling title victory over Chiang Kai Shek, subsequently bagging the Finals MVP honors.

But the forfeiture dropped Adamson to a league-worst 0-12 record prior to its 92-58 victory over University of Santo Tomas in Serrano’s absence yesterday at The Arena in San Juan, assuring the team’s elimination from the Final Four race.

It also led to a major shake-up in the team standings, with defending champion Nazareth School of National University gaining the lead at presstime with 12-1 record, followed by FEU-Diliman (10-2), Ateneo (9-3), La Salle-Zobel (5-7), UP Integrated School (5-8), UST (5-8), and University of the East (3-9).

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