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Probe launched on reported UST 'bubble'

Aldin Ayo reportedly put up a practice bubble for the Growling Tigers in his hometown of Sorsogon City. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Philippine Sports Commission, Department of Health, Games and Amusements Board, and the UAAP made a preliminary discussion regarding a reported practice bubble by the UST Growling Tigers in Sorsogon.

National training director Marc Velasco, GAB chairman Baham Mitra, UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag, UAAP Season 83 president Nonong Calanog, and DOH representative Rodley Carza attended an online meeting on Saturday.

The said people extended an invite to UST, but the university, according to the PSC, "respectfully declined the invitation."

Online and offline discussions went abuzz on Friday just when reports began to surface about the said bubble that took place in Coach Aldin Ayo's native province, which CJ Cansino confirmed in an interview with former UST women's volleyball team member Mela Tunay on Saturday.

A fallout that is said to have taken place in the bubble is being tipped as a reason why Cansino, the Growling Tigers' Season 82 captain, was removed from the team. Cansino eventually decided to transfer to the University of the Philippines.

Because the team is not GAB-sanctioned, UST is not allowed to have its varsity teams conduct training at this moment as stated in the joint administrative order regarding sports practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which means Ayo could be sanctioned for breaching quarantine protocols.

"We were informed that the University [of Santo Tomas] is now conducting their own investigation and that UAAP shall share information in the following days," the PSC further stated. "The PSC recognizes the UAAP as the mother organization of the concerned team and trusts that proper actions shall be done on this matter."

Mitra bared that UST actually barred its men's basketball team from holding training sessions here, which is said to be the reason why Ayo, a former councilman in Sorsogon City, decided to do a bubble instead in his hometown.

The PSC, on the other hand, "reiterated 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."

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