There's a lot of optimism at the San Beda Red Lions camp. After capturing the Filoil title last May at the expense of the UAAP champions, the De La Salle Green Archers, (thereby establishing themselves as the unofficial collegiate champions) the Mendiola-based squad is brimming with confidence. One of the primary reasons for their success is their 5'11", do-it-all captain Robert Bolick, who, curiously, used to be a Green Archer before he was released and found a new home in San Beda.
But while Bolick's case may be a portent of things to come, switching league allegiance wasn't regularly practiced. As a follow-up to last week's article on MBA players who did well in the PBA, FHM lists down the PBA players who jumped fences from the UAAP to the NCAA or vice versa during their collegiate years.
De La Salle University (NCAA-UAAP)
The GlobalPort Batang Pier head coach is the only player in Philippine basketball history to have played for both collegiate leagues while donning the same jersey. La Salle's top point guard helped the school reach the Finals of the tumultuous 1980 NCAA season against the Letran Knights, but neither team won the championship because of a melee among students at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Pumaren later suited up for the Archers one last time when the school became part of the UAAP in its maiden year (1986).
De La Salle University to Letran to Adamson
One of the taller players to come out from the university ranks, the 6'8" slotman first suited up for the Green Archers before moving to the Knights. He finished his collegiate basketball career by returning to his roots, playing for the Falcons. He turned pro in 2005 and was drafted 15th overall in the second round by the Alaska Aces before being traded to the San Miguel Beermen. Kong is the only PBA cager to have gone from the UAAP to the NCAA and back to the UAAP.
Arthur Dela Cruz
Ateneo de Manila University to San Beda College
Controversy hounded the versatile forward's departure from Katipunan, but his game improved by leaps and bounds when he arrived in Mendiola. The son of former PBA defensive stopper Art de la Cruz is the only PBA player to win titles in both leagues, playing crucial roles in his schools' respective championship runs. Art is now with the Blackwater Elite and a member of the Gilas national pool.
Trinity to Far Eastern University
This actor-turned-basketball player-turned-congressman became a varsity player for the Stallions back in the late '70s before shifting to the Tamaraws. Roldan eventually became a member of the Gilbey's Gin Gimlets in the 1983 PBA season. The father of volleyball superstar Michelle Gumabao and star of Bakit Bughaw Ang Langit and Salome didn't really make much of a name for himself as a player; he did earn the distinction of being the first movie star to ever play in the league.
University of the Philippines to San Beda College
Mesina was a highly touted rookie when he suited up for the Maroons under coach Eric Altamirano. This lanky 6'3" forward, however, didn't stay long at the state university and transferred to San Beda, where he had a more accomplished run. He was drafted in the third round by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs in 2003 but his career fizzled out.
Reynaldo de Vera
Far Eastern University to Jose Rizal Colleges
A relatively unknown player dating back to the '70s, De Vera was initially a Tamaraw before turning into a Heavy Bomber mid-decade. He joined the PBA in 1976, averaging close to eight points for the N-Rich Coffee Makers. Not long after, the stocky, 5'10" guard fell out of the league with the entry of better talent in the same position.