The University of Santo Tomas (UST) endorsed an appeal to lift the indefinite ban imposed by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) on former Growling Tigers men’s basketball team coach Aldin Ayo.
UAAP confirmed that the collegiate sports league received a letter from UST endorsing the appeal of Ayo.
UAAP banned Ayo from participating in all events and sanctioned activities of the league following allegations that the men’s basketball team of UST held a training bubble in Sorsogon City and violated community quarantine protocols.
The league said that Ayo endangered the the health and well-being of the student athletes under his charge when he conducted the training during a government-declared state of public emergency intended to arrest the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Ayo was handed an indefinite ban from participating in all UAAP events and UAAP-sanctioned activities by the UAAP Board of Trustees which ratified the recommendation of the UAAP Board of Managing Directors last month,” the league said in a statement.
“This was based on the report that UST submitted regarding its investigation on the alleged training bubble in Sorsogon as well as the governing principles of the association,” it added.
However, in a certification dated Monday, September 28, Sorsogon Gov. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero refuted allegations that the Growling Tigers held a training bubble in the province.
Escudero said that Ayo acted in accordance with the health protocol and guidelines as per existing Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Based on a police report dated September 23, members of the UST men’s basketball team arrived in Sorsogon City from June 17 to July 29 for a ‘special personal development farm training program’ in the farm of Ayo.
The police said that the players only made use of the basketball court inside the residence of Ayo while not engaged in farm work, and only held individual training sessions.