16 June 2014,
SM Mall of Asia Arena,
At the press conference of the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament, many coaches were at the lobby, sitting with members of their respective teams.
Coach Gerry Esplana was one of them.
He talked about the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals and what could be in store for them when the season begins on June 28.
Something caught my attention when he names the members of his team, and when I chatted with him over his official lineup.
Lo and behold, its Jozhua General.
-The EAC GENERALS GET JOZHUA GENERAL
Yes. Former University of the Philippines Integrated School cager Jozhua General is back. He was was not on Esplana’s list until two weeks ago when he showed up at the practice and joined the tryouts, and after enrolled with the school.
(Former UPIS cager Jozhua General in action against National University Bullpups cager Mark Dyke during the eliminations of the 76th UAAP junior basketball tournament). photo by Richard Esguerra, UAAPsports.TV
Esplana said he was impressed at how Jozhua conducted himself during practice. He describes him as a shooter, 5-foot-10 and stocky.
He noted that while with UPIS, Jozhua played the 4 position of a power forward, and with the Generals, he has plans of converting him into a 3 (small forward).
Coach Gerry said he is aware of what happened to Jozhua while with UPIS last year, and that was 11 months ago.
-REMEMBERING THE JOZHUA GENERAL CASE
According to a blog I wrote on Aug. 13, 2013, Jozhua’s parents Jose and Mary Christine General obtained a temporary restraining order(TRO) issued dated August 16, 2013(Friday).
According to the order, for 20 days effective immediately, the league is ordered to refrain from implementing the disqualification of Jozhua MacDaniel P. General from playing for UPIS in UAAP Season 76.
Because of the TRO, the young General was able to play five more games for the UPIS Junior Maroons.
The case was docketed under Civil Case No. R-QZN-13-05210 CV at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 99, and under Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia. They were represented by counsels, Atty. Rico Domingo and Atty. Stanley Zambarano.
On Aug. 3, the UAAP board made a decision on Jozhua’s case.
This was after an elementary violation of a long-standing rule on eligibility has prompted the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) board to declare as ineligible a player of the University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) in Season 76.
The UAAP board stressed on the decision as it clarified anew that UPIS’s Jozhua General has consumed his eligibility with UPIS and the league.
Under “Other Requirements” of the Player’s Eligibility rule of the UAAP’s Rules and Regulations in its Articles of Incorporation and By Laws, “A [High School] athlete shall have a maximum of four playing years within five [High School] years reckoned from the academic year of elementary graduation.”
General graduated in elementary at 11 at the Naga Parochial School in Camarines Sur in 2008. He attended San Beda Taytay for his freshman year as a high schooler but dropped out in October of school year 2008-2009.
General enrolled the following school year at Lourdes School Mandaluyong not as a high school freshman but as a Grade Seven student and graduated a second time in elementary in 2010. He then enrolled at UPIS for his high school in 2010-2011 school year.
The UAAP, according to Season 76 secretary-treasurer Ma. Luisa Isip of Adamson University, starts counting a player’s eligibility from his first graduation as an elementary student—in General’s case from 2008 at the Naga Parochial School.
The UAAP board has sought its members from UP—Chancellor Caesar Saloma and Prof. Ronualdo Dizer—to initially inquire into the General issue after his eligibility was questioned despite the fact that the season has already started, and based its decision on their report.
General was responsible for forcing the fourth overtime in UPIS’s only victory—which was eventually forfeited—in the season, a four overtime 89-87 win over Adamson University last July 14.
-The DISMISSAL OF THE JOZHUA GENERAL CASE
Last, June 4, 2014, UAAP Season 77 Secretary-General Rodrigo Roque of the University of the East briefly mentions to me when I call him up Wednesday afternoon.
He reads UAAP legal counsel Rene Villa’s message.
According to Mr. Villa, presiding judge Ma. Rita Bascos-Sarabia of Quezon City Regional Trial Court branch 99 said in her order that the case has been dismissed “for being moot and academic.”
-A NEW JOURNEY FOR JOZHUA
Coach Gerry told me that Jozhua’s past will have no bearing on his present career and when he finally suits up for his first game with the Generals on Wednesday July 2, 2014 at the Arena in San Juan.
On that day, the Generals will clash with the College of St. Benilde Blazers at 2 p.m.
And it will mark a new milestone in Jozhua’s career.
“It (his past) no effect on the team. We will just forget it,” said coach Gerry.
The Generals, according to coach Gerry, will be focused on improving their fifth place last year this season.
And Jozhua will be there.
He is all set to reset his basketball career, months after it ended for while still in high school
As for me, I hope that I won’t spend my time watching “Be Careful With My Heart” because heavy rains will keep me from leaving the house, just like last year.
This time around, I hope to see him play.