Green Archers out of Universiade Games

FISU nixes Archers’ Serbia Universiade stint
Posted by Jasmine W Payo at

The La Salle Green Archers lost a chance to represent the Philippines in the 2009 Summer Universiade from July 1 to 12 after officials thumbed down the country’s application to compete in the basketball event set in Belgrade, Serbia

Michal Buchel, sports department manager of International University Sports Federation (Fisu), said the organizers prioritized the 24 slots available in men’s basketball to member-countries.

“We have had over 30 teams from the member associations and it will not be fair to select for the draw countries that are non-member associations,” Buchel said in a letter to the Philippine Olympic Committee dated March 18. “I hope that in the future you’ll become a member of Fisu and be able to participate.”

The Archers won the trip as part of a prize package after upsetting rival and UAAP champion Ateneo Blue Eagles for the 2008 Philippine Collegiate Champion League (PCCL) crown.

But Jose Capistrano, the Philippine representative of Fisu affiliate Asian University Sports Federation, said the PCCL and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas have already lined up other international tournaments as alternatives for the Archers.

“Definitely La Salle will still go to a competition abroad,” said Capistrano. “It was an honest mistake. Unfortunately, we were not aware of this provision [that only Fisu members can join the team events]. We were able to participate in the 2007 Universiade in Bangkok in taekwondo, swimming, and shooting. In previous years, we got invites even if we were not a member.”

The aborted trip disappointed the Archers, who were looking forward to the prestigious, Olympic-like gathering of varsity athletes from over 100 countries competing in 15 sports.

“It’s like we were taken for a ride,” said La Salle coach Franz Pumaren.

“We’re still hoping against hope they’ll take into consideration our appeal during the head of delegations meeting [this weekend],” said Capistrano, noting that the Philippines applied for Fisu membership back in 2007.

But Capistrano added that the Philippines earned berths in the taekwondo event where 24 UAAP athletes will compete.

The University of the East was the last basketball team to represent the Philippines in the 1967 Universiade with a lineup bannered by Robert Jaworski and Danny Florencio.

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