AND THEN there were fourteen. Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology literally beat the buzzer and was recently accepted as the newest member of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU), another testament to the varsity league’s incredible growth over the past year.
The Red Fox will field entries in both the Seniors and Women’s divisions. Handling the Seniors team will be former Mapua Cardinals guard Ringo Jimenez.
“When I took over as EARIST coach two years ago, one of my dreams was to bring the team to a major league and now it is a reality with NAASCU,” said Coach Jimenez. “Truth is that I have been inquiring and sending feelers to the league since last year so we can now say that we have finally arrived.”
Expected to play key roles for the team are point guard Dan Anthony Natividad, forward Jervis Jed Bandalan, who used to play in the NAASCU for the City University of Pasay, and 6’5” center Andreas Cahilig. Other players the Red Fox are counting on are a trio of defensive specialists in guard Benjamin Israel Montealegre and forwards Jan Eros Baculpo and Bryan Wendel Hilario.
Despite being a last minute entry, Coach Jimenez sees no problem as the team has been continuously training and joining tournaments since the summer vacation while waiting for NAASCU’s answer as well as the approval of the EARIST officials. Aside from Basketball in the first semester, EARIST will field entries in all of other disciplines like Athletics, Swimming, Volleyball, Chess, Table Tennis, Badminton, Taekwondo, Street Dance and Cheerleading come the second semester.
The 16th NAASCU will open on August 25, 2016 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City with the games aired on a slightly delayed basis over Basketball TV and Solar Sports. Basketball legend Matthew “Fritz” Gaston will be the Commissioner with referees from the PBA D-League.