IN ANY competition, there is always a winner and a loser.

The winner, supposedly, fought honestly and valiantly until the end. Then again, there are winners who cheat and losers who play strictly by the rules. The bitter taste of defeat is simply repulsive to some, that certain people resort to shenanigans.

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Recently, two former De La Salle University Green Archers were alleged to have falsified Philippine Education Placement Test Certificate of rating results. The two (and I do not feel the need to name them as their faces are all over dailies) were therefore ineligible to play in the UAAP during the 2004 season, when La Salle won the championship against the Far Eastern University.

La Salle offered to return the Season 67 trophy if these allegations are proved true. But the deed had been done. A returned trophy does nothing to alleviate the embarrassment this premiere collegiate institution sustained from its laxity and leniency in recruiting players.

Do we let these players get away with it? Do we let La Salle get away with it?

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Institute of Physical Education and Athletics Moderator Felix Michael Silbor said the UAAP board should finish the investigation first. Everything must undergo due process before accusations are made.

Meanwhile, Silbor said he is confident that there are no ineligible players in UST.

“We have checked the background of each of the athletes in our roster,” he said.

As of press time, there are about seven athletes in the UAAP and rival league NCAA whose eligibility documents are being questioned.

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With this said, I hope (and fervently pray) there are no skeletons in UST’s closet. It would be a nightmare to think that the undisputed UAAP overall champion (holding 32 general championship titles) have bad coconuts in their harvest. Just one booboo is enough to discredit UST’s reign in the league.

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On a lighter note, UST leads the UAAP general championship race after the first semester. In recent years, UST has always been down by around 10 markers or more in the first semester, before bouncing back with strong performances in the second round.

Ominous as this unprecedented 13-point lead may seem (it is against the course of history and it even involves supposedly unlucky digits), the second round UST teams are simply ready to dominate the UAAP.

And with La Salle currently in hot water, there is no stopping UST from notching its 33rd general championship.

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