UAAP schools told: Observe health protocols

THE UAAP reminded its member-schools to follow the Joint Administrative Order signed by different stakeholders last month in the aftermath of allegations that University of Santo Tomas' men's basketball team violated Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) rules after  conducting an alledged  "bubble" training in Sorsogon.

The JAO, signed by the Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Health, and the Games and Amusements Board, covers non-professional sports under the jurisdiction of the PSC, and professional sports under the jurisdiction of GAB.

Other parties in the conduct of sports -- including school leagues -- are also covered by the JAO, which was signed last July 27.

UAAP Executive Director Rebo Saguisag said that all of the league's eight member-schools were present in the most recent meeting last month, wherein the terms of the JAO were discussed.

"Each member school was reminded to police their own ranks and to be aware of the different quarantine classifications," Saguisag told ABS-CBN News.

"For its part, the league reiterates that it will always be guided by the lead governmental agencies and will not run counter to any of its directives, hence the cancellation of Season 82, while the opening of Season 83 will have to wait until finally cleared by the government," he added.

The Season 82 was terminated last April 7 due to the COVID-19 and the league is plotting its Season 83 opening to early next year.

The only available exemptions by the IATF in its JAO are professional basketball and football, which are allowed to resume training - but only in small groups - under approved health protocols.

Saguisag issued the reminder after sources revealed on Friday that the Growling Tigers were holed up in a "bubble environment" in Sorsogon since June and videos of their alleged workouts came out on social media.  Sorsogon has been under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) since June.

That led to a reported disagreement between team captain CJ Cansino, who wanted to go home from the training camp, along with his teammates, but his request was thumbed down by coach Aldin Ayo.

Cansino was eventually dismissed from the team and the 20-year old incoming third year standout has committed to play for University of the Philippines on Friday.

UST and Ayo have yet to come out with an official statement regarding the issue.

In an interview with volleyball player-analyst Carmela Tunay on her YouTube online show yesterday afternoon, Cansino was mum regarding on the alleged UST training videos that went viral.

"Respeto na lang sa UST at teammates ko, di na sa akin manggagaling iyon. Sila na bahala mag-confirm," said Cansino.