UP’s Ricafort not losing hope, seeks TRO

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University of the Philippines (UP) forward Rob Ricafort is reportedly seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would allow him to suit up for the Fighting Maroons in Season 80 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament.

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Ricarfort was ruled ineligible by the UAAP due to over age issue but the brother-in-law of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) great Jimmy Alapag is not losing hope to play this season.

UP head coach Bo Perasol confirmed to The Manila Times on Thursday that Ricafort is making an initiative to be able to wear the Fighting Maroons uniform and the school is supporting his move.

“The legal course is Rob’s personal effort and we support him on that. But there are no other details, though,” said Perasol.

“Rob is still practicing with us but there’s no instructions yet if he’ll be able to play for use,” he added.

Ricafort, who will be a one-and-done player for State U if cleared to play, was ruled ineligible by the UAAP Board of Managers as the player will turn 25 on January next year.

The UAAP rule states that a player should not be more than 25 during the whole season.

UP elevated the case to the Board of Trustees (BOT), composed of the presidents of the eight member schools, prior the start of Season 80 but the plea was turned down by the BOT.

Securing a TRO is not new in the UAAP as last season, Matthew Aquino was able to play for the National University (NU) after getting a TRO from a Pasig City court.

The son of former PBA center Marlou first played for Adamson before transferring to the Bulldogs in Season 79. He was declared ineligible by the UAAP prior that season for not completing the one-year residency rule.

Sources told The Manila Times that the camp of Ricafort is expediting the process so that the player can debut this Saturday against the unbeaten De La Salle University.

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