UAAP: Adamson's Pumaren says 'Sorsogon bubble' is 'mind-boggling'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2020 04:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Adamson University head coach Franz Pumaren was shocked to hear about University of Santo Tomas' (UST) alleged training camp in Sorsogon, calling it "mind-boggling."

The UST men's basketball program has been in hot water in recent weeks, when the transfer of former captain CJ Cansino to University of the Philippines blew the lid off their "bubble" in Sorsogon -- the hometown of head coach Aldin Ayo.

ABS-CBN News was informed that the Growling Tigers have been training there since mid-June. In the wake of Cansino's exit from the program, details about the "bubble" have steadily emerged, with players complaining about the quality of food and lack of care during the camp.

"It's mind-boggling," said Pumaren of the whole issue. "As we all know, there are certain rules to follow. There's the IATF, the governing body right now."

Speaking on "Sports Page" with Sev Sarmenta and Dominic Uy, Pumaren questioned how the Growling Tigers were able to travel from Manila to Sorsogon in the first place.

"We all know that you're not supposed to be traveling," he pointed out.

"Second, you have to look at the health issues also. Right now, health issue ang pinag-uusapan natin," he added. "It is a serious thing."

Pumaren noted that the recent research on the novel coronavirus has shown that it affects even the youth, as opposed to initial information that showed it is the elderly who are most at risk from the disease.

The Adamson coach also pointed out that teams in the PBA waited until they received clearance from the government before resuming their training -- and they only did so in small groups.

"So meaning, PBA followed the rules, the recommendation of the health department, the IATF," he said.

UST has concluded its investigation into the "bubble," with Ayo having promised to cooperate with the probe. At the moment, the UAAP Board of Managing Directors are in a meeting to discuss the university's findings.

Several government agencies -- including the Commission on Higher Education -- are also involved in the matter now, as UST is accused of violating quarantine protocols.

Lyceum of the Philippines University head coach Topex Robinson, who appeared on the same episode, said he understood UST's desire to get to work, but said the "bubble" was still alarming.

"Putting the lives of everybody, I mean, all of those kids in danger is really alarming. Again, you have to remind them that you're a parent, and you don't want to put your child in that kind of situation," he said.

Both coaches assured that their teams are strictly following quarantine rules, with Pumaren explaining that the Soaring Falcons are given programs to follow so they can stay in shape.

"It's the same thing that will happen this school year," he said. "We'll just give them assignment, it's up to them to implement it."