Bataller, Asuncion continue UST exodus as IATF judgment nears

The UST Growling Tigers continue to suffer roster setbacks as Ira Bataller and Jun Asuncion have abandoned ship on Tuesday, September 1, according to reports by student publication The Varsitarian.

This comes on the heels of a string of prominent player departures following the Sorsogon “bubble” allegations kickstarted by the ouster of team captain CJ Cansino.

In less than two weeks, embattled head coach Aldin Ayo’s roster has lost 5 members, namely Cansino, Bataller, Asuncion, Rhenz Abando, and Brent Paraiso.

Bataller was an integral part of UST’s run to the UAAP Season 82 finals despite only averaging 1.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists. In 18 appearances, the 6-foot-4 bruiser started 14 games and normed 17 minutes per contest.

Asuncion, meanwhile, appeared in one game for the Tigers and logged 3 minutes and 19 seconds with one foul and one shot attempt.

However, he showed promise in the PBA D-League after dropping 20 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting in UST’s 115-62 demolition of the now-defunct TIP Engineers last March 5. He will reportedly try his luck next with the Mapua Cardinals in the NCAA.

Issues continue to pile up one after the other for the team as it is now set to hear judgment from the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) through the recommendation of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) group due to possible quarantine violations.

The JAO group, composed of the UAAP, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), are set to discuss possible sanctions Tuesday afternoon. –