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Reported UST 'bubble'? It's 'much bigger than sports' says PSC chair Ramirez

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said the reported ill-advised UST bubble is more than a sports issue. Jess Escaros/PNA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez cannot help but to speak up on the reported training bubble that involved the UST Growling Tigers.

With collegiate teams not yet allowed to practice amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the bubble, if confirmed, is considered a violation of quarantine protocols, putting the said basketball squad in a tough situation.

With that said, Ramirez thinks the ill-advised bubble goes beyond the game.

"The issue, for me, is much bigger than sports. It touches on a sensitive facet of our society that questions our priorities," he said in a statement on Monday.

The "sensitive facet" pertains to moral challenges that for Ramirez are "one glaring reality that we face in the field of sports, as in all other aspects of life."

While he clarified that he is not judging the Growling Tigers for holding the bubble in Coach Aldin Ayo's hometown of Sorsogon City, Ramirez questioned the rationale behind it.

"Does winning always mean everything else takes second place? Are we so focused on winning that we are ready to compromise important matters like the safety of the youth we are supposed to guide? Is the athletic development and achievement, or team readiness more paramount that overstepping bounds, compromising one’s safety or putting your team credibility on the line takes a back seat?" he asked.

Meanwhile, Ramirez said that the PSC is letting the University Athletic Association of the Philippines take control of the situation as the probe on the Tigers continues.

"The Philippine Sports Commission recognizes the authority of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines on this member-team, and we are giving them the chance to clarify matters internally," he further said.

He concluded by calling on all the Filipinos to become "equally responsible for what we do and what we ask others to do for a cause or intention. Let us all care for one another in whatever way we can. If not as citizens, let us do it as brothers and sisters to one another."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_