Team photo of the UST Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 82 lineup (Photo from Minajoy Ayo, dated Nov. 9, 2019)

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Saturday expressed concern for members of the University Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers that had reportedly participated in a training camp “bubble” in Sorsogon the past months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The “bubble” was allegedly formed by Growling Tigers coach Aldin Ayo. Photos and videos of the UST team participating in contact drills—which are prohibited under government guidelines— have surfaced on social media following team captain CJ Cansino’s sudden “removal” from the team.

Ayo, along with the UST players, have kept mum on the matter.

PSC said in a statement that it had initiated a meeting with the UAAP, the Department of Health and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to discuss the apparent breach of quarantine protocols. UST “respectfully declined” when it was invited to join the meeting.

“We were informed that the University concerned is now conducting their own investigation and that UAAP shall share information in the following days,” PSC’s statement read.

“The PSC recognizes the UAAP as the mother organization of the concerned team and trusts that proper actions shall be done on this matter,” it continued.

The joint administrative order on sports activities allows only professional teams, and not collegiate teams, to resume training and practices.

Community quarantine guidelines also prohibit persons aged under 21 from going outside of their homes unless absolutely necessary.

“The PSC, at this point expresses its concern for the safety of the athletes. Above all considerations at this time, the safety of the athletes must always be paramount,” the sports commission’s statement added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro