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Letran’s Fran Yu eager to train with Abando, 2 other newcomers

By Waylon Galvez





Letran’s ace guard Fran Yu said that he is excited to start training with new teammates Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso and Ira Bataller although the three former UST players are still to undergo a one-year residency.

Like most observers, Yu also sees the arrival of the three as solid additions for Letran, since the Knights are now without guards Jerrick Balanza and Bonbon Batiller, as well as backup center Christian Balagasay – all PBA rookies now.

However, the 5-foot-10 Yu said the recruitment is just the first step.



“Malakas sa papel pero sa training lahat maguumpisa,” Yu told Manila Bulletin-Tempo in a message Friday.

“Excited na ako na makalaro sila, sana matuloy na talaga yung training ng mga teams.”

Abando, Paraiso and Bataller joined Letran early this week after they decided to leave University of Santo Tomas, which is currently under investigation by the UAAP and the Department of Justice (DOJ) due to training in Sorsogon.

The government has a strict policy of ‘no practice’ since it issued a lockdown because of the coronavirus outbreak last March, but coach Aldin Ayo of UST still conducted training in his home province a few months later.

Ayo has already been suspended indefinitely by the UAAP, while UST still awaits a verdict.

Letran won the NCAA title last season, beating archrival San Beda in a dramatic best-of-three showdown. Yu was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Finals series.

The three new recruits met last Tuesday with Letran coach Bonnie Tan and Alfrancis Chua, Sports Director of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which supports the school’s basketball program.

The league’s 96th Season is expected to begin either February or March 2021, although NCAA Management Committee (MANCOM) chairman Fr. Vic Calvo of host Letran reiterated that they would only start if there is already a vaccine against COVID-19.

The three new players of Letran, or for any transferee, need to complete the required one-year residency. Calvo clarified that it doesn’t mean one whole year, but a school year of two semesters.

“If they finish two semesters, let’s say April tapos sila and kung ang opening ng Season 96 is June, pasok sila. Basta makumpleto nila ang two semesters before the eligibility meeting, puwede sila makalaro.”

“Pero kung magumpisa ang Season 96 either February or March, and then matatapos pa sila ng second semester April, hindi puwede maglaro. Sa sunod na Season na sila.”

Calvo said the residency depends on the school year program, or semesters in a year. For instance, Letran has two semesters per year, while College of St. Benilde has three, and Mapua has four semesters a year.

“So yun ang dapat na makumpleto ng estudyante. Like sa amin sa Letran or sa Arellano University, two semesters is equivalent to one school year, then sa CSB sila tri-sem, Mapua naman apat,” he said.