The University of Santo Tomas is now conducting an internal probe on the Growling Tigers basketball team to clear up allegations of “bubble” practices in Sorsogon.
This order was handed down by UAAP management with the backing of multiple concerned agencies, including the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
These 4 organizations held a meeting on Saturday, August 22, to discuss the matter. UST was also invited, but “respectfully declined the invitation,” according to a PSC statement.
“The PSC recognizes the UAAP as the mother organization of the concerned team and trusts that proper actions shall be done on this matter,” the statement read.
UST has until Wednesday, August 26, to come up with a report for the UAAP. (READ: Cansino breaks silence on UST departure, says he got ‘kicked off’)
Although the PSC has entrusted the investigation process with the UAAP, it still reiterated in its statement that “provisions of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines on physical activities and sport, as well as the Joint Administrative Order issued by the PSC, GAB and the DOH on the resumption of sport must always be observed.”
“The PSC, at this point expresses its concern for the safety of the athletes. Above all considerations at this time, the safety of the athletes must always be paramount,” the statement concluded.
UST said it already “created a committee to investigate and to inquire into the matter.”
“We wish to assure you that the University does not tolerate any form of violation of government regulation, and it responds promptly by taking the appropriate action,” the university said in a statement.
So far, only professional teams like the PBA and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 are allowed to conduct basketball practices under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and its looser, modified version (MGCQ).
This development is yet another new chapter in the fast-swirling drama surrounding the team, its head coach Aldin Ayo – a native of Sorsogon – and now-exiled team captain CJ Cansino.
Following Cansino’s ouster from the team and subsequent signing with the UP Fighting Maroons, follow-up reports emerged detailing these alleged practices along with apparent video evidence, which have now been deleted along with their associated accounts. (READ: CJ Cansino joins UP Maroons after shock UST exit)
Ayo has yet to respond to multiple requests for comment from multiple media outlets. – Rappler.com