The University of Santo Tomas has formally accepted the resignation of men’s basketball coach Aldin Ayo following the Sorsogon training bubble controversy that has put the school in the spotlight.

/ 5 September 2020

The university, through the Office of the Secretary-General on Saturday morning, has announced on its social media accounts the decision of Ayo alongside with his assistants McJour Luib and Jinino Manansala “with a heavy heart.”

“It is with a heavy heart that the University of Santo Tomas accepts the resignation of Mr. Aldin Ayo, Head Coach of UST Men’s Basketball Team, together with the resignations of Mr. McJour Luib and Mr. Jinino Manansala as Assistant Coaches,” UST said. 

UST has also expressed its gratitude to the coaches and has promised the community to rebuild its athletic program with “compassion and competence”. 

“Rest assured that the University will remain committed to the welfare of the student athletes and that the process of rebuilding the athletic program, particularly that of the Men’s Basketball Team, through compassion and competence, will commence,” the university statement said.

Ayo stepped down a day earlier and apologized for his actions, noting that he “unnecessarily exposed” the university to “much condemnation.”

“I have tendered my resignation as Head Coach of the UST Men’s Basketball Team. I deeply apologize to all those who have been adversely affected by our activity and unnecessarily exposed too much condemnation especially the University,” Ayo stated. 

Five athletes have since bolted the squad including CJ Cansino, Brent Paraiso, Ira Battler, Jun Asuncion, and Rhenz Abando.

Commission of Higher Education Chief, Prospero De Vera, on the other hand, said that UST Growling Tigers clearly violated government’s health protocols amid the pandemic. 

“Yes, I think clearly, holding a student activity in a faraway place, clearly there’s seems to be a violation of the Inter-agency Task Force’s rules,” De Vera said.