Coach 'physically and verbally abused' rookies --- The Varsitarian report

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 29, 2016 07:37 AM
Coach 'physically and verbally abused' rookies --- report
In a lengthy report by the Varsitarian, the university's official student publication, four sources, including two former players, gave their accounts on the issue surrounding the team.

More light has been shed into the issue surrounding head coach Bong dela Cruz and the UST Growling Tigers.

In a lengthy report by the Varsitarian, the university's official student publication, rookies have been allegedly put into physical and verbal abuse.

The Varsitarian cited four anonymous sources, indluding a parent and two former players, that all claimed the coach who led the Tigers to the UAAP finals hit players and threw expletives during practices and games.

According to the article, the first source gave the second-year coach ample time, thinking he would eventually change even after abuses and harsh punishments in practice were done even prior to the UAAP Season.

“Hindi ako naninira. Kung naninira lang ako sana noong summer pa lang nagsumbong na ako. Baka kasi mabigyan pa ng chance, kawawa naman mga players,” the first source said as told to the Varsitarian.

Turns out majority of the team members had enough and did not want the coach to return to the team.

The "family" rallying cry by the team for Season 78 also turned out to be more on the veteran members only, adding that special treatment and favoritism was given to senior players.

“Lagi niyang sinasabi, family tayo, family ganun. Tapos sabi niya ganun talaga sa family `pag may anak ka pinapalo mo, para hindi na niya gagawin. Ganun ginagawa niya [sa players]: pinapalo niya, sinasaktan, ganun," he said.

A second source which the report said was a parent of a player has decided not to file a complaint but said that her son was also physically abused.

“He would be hit by a basketball. At one time when he’s just gone back to training after clearance from the doctor, he was hit by the knee of a teammate so he was hurt," the second source told the V.

Earlier reports have surfaced that Dela Cruz has been fired from the team before the Varsitarian got a statement from Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P., director of the Institute for Physical Education and Athletics, saying that Dela Cruz technically is still the coach but is under investigation "about our basketball program in reference to the University's policies."

[Related: TIGER FOR NOW: UST head coach Bong dela Cruz under investigation]

While not suspended and his contract runs until April of this year, Dela Cruz has been asked not to attend team practices.

Early drills by the team were conducted by Tiger Cubs assistant Juben Ledesma.

[Related: Tigers pushed for practices even without Dela Cruz, staff]

One former player also told V that the allegations are true and will air his side when summoned by UST.

“I will say my piece when I am summoned by the school but all I can say is it’s true,” he said.

Despite the controversy, former head coach Pido Jarencio has expressed his support to his former players, saying he was saddened to hear the negative rumors.

[Related: Pido Jarencio vouches for Growling Tigers in the middle of team controversy]

Read the full report here.

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