Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar of Branch 19 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in order to allow Rob Ricafort of the UP Fighting Maroons Men’s Basketball Team to play in the ongoing Season 80 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
Previously, the UAAP Eligibility Committee recommended that Ricafort is ineligible to play because he has exceeded the maximum age limitation. He will turn 25 in January of next year which is already after the basketball season has ended.
This ruling was eventually affirmed by the UAAP Board of Trustees (BOT) despite an impassioned appeal from lawyer Danilo Concepcion, President of the University of the Philippines (UP), and a member of the UAAP BOT.
However, with this TRO issued by the court hearing the case filed by Ricafort and his lawyers, he can now play in his first and last season in collegiate basketball.
“Rob Ricafort chose to fight for a chance, for a change. If you know his personal story, you will understand that this is no longer just about ball for him; this is about his life. Playing in the UAAP was his dream. Now it will come true.”
This according to Bo Perasol, head coach of the UP Fighting Maroons, who gave the young boy a shot at a new life after struggling with, and surviving from, personal issues.
“Rob took great lengths to assert his rights. The court has spoken. Nobody has the power to deny him that right which the court has protected. As his coach, the least I could do is to help him get back up, after stumbling in life many times over in the past,” added Perasol.
UP is scheduled to face off with UAAP Season 79 champion De La Salle University (DLSU) tomorrow, 4pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena.