Too harsh? The Varsitarian draws flak for social media post on outgoing Tiger amid Sorsogon bubble controversy

September 2, 2020 - 3:06 PM
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A group photo of the UST Growling Tigers (Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas)

A University of the Santo Tomas publication’s social media blurb about the departure of another student basketball player drew backlash for the perceived harsh writing amid the issues hounding the school’s men’s basketball team.

The Varsitarian, the official student publication of UST, posted a breaking news item on Facebook and Twitter confirming the departure of Growling Tiger Jun Asuncion on Tuesday, September 1.

The post read: “Growling Tiger Jun Asuncion has transferred to Mapúa University, source says. Asuncion played a total of three minutes and 19 seconds during the elimination round of Season 82, where he went scoreless and grabbed one rebound.”

In the Facebook version, another paragraph was added: “Asuncion had a 20-point outing in a 53-point UST victory in the PBA D-League last March.”

Several Filipinos, however, took offense at the blurb’s description of Asuncion’s performance in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 82.

They argued that including Asuncion’s stats, and the remarks “scoreless” and “grabbed one rebound” were too harsh, unnecessary and disrespectful.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

One Twitter user noted that the publication should’ve just left out Asuncion’s stats in the report.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

Others suggested their own witty versions of the blurb, which were similar to the viral purple prose post of the UST Central Student Council last year.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

Jules Guiang, former broadcaster of People’s Television Network, also quipped that such “savage” writing might be the reason why students are leaving UST.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

In the writeup, the Varsitarian Sports Team detailed that Asuncion had limited playing time during the last UAAP season and consequently making him unable to score.

“UST had a deep forward rotation last season, which included Ira Bataller, Sherwin Concepcion, Zach Huang, Deo Cuajao and Nath Consejo. Asuncion however had limited playing minutes in Season 82, appearing in a lone game where he was unable to score,” part of the article read.

Asuncion is the fifth UST Growling Tigers Men’s Basketball Team member to leave the university amid the ongoing probe into its alleged quarantine violations when the team held a training camp in Sorsogon last June.

The National University is also facing the same allegations for its women’s volleyball team who supposedly held practice sessions in Laguna.

The four Thomasian student athletes who left are CJ Cansino, Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso and Ira Bataller. Only Asuncion did not join the controversial activities in Sorsogon.

A quick recap of the controversy

In the deleted screenshots on Twitter, Cansino bared conversations in their group chat with the team’s parents where the athletes decried alleged mistreatment during their training in Sorsogon called the Sorsogon Bubble.

Sorsogon also happened to be the hometown of Tigers coach Aldin Ayo.

The complaints of Tigers Cansino, Abando, Paraiso, Bataller, Soulemane Chabi-Yo, Paul Manalang could be read on the screenshots, which some social media users managed to make copies of and shared them online.

This training was also reportedly backed with a hefty P3 billion budget.

Any sport-related event is still prohibited in areas under the general community quarantine, which allowed public transport and some businesses to resume operations at limited capacity.

Last September 1, the UST men’s basketball team represented by lawyer Alfonso Verzosa and Elgin Perez, and NU’s athletic director Rustico “Otie” Camangian presented their findings to the group tasked to investigate the allegations against the varsity teams.

In a statement issued on the same day, the UAAP Board of Managing Directors announced that they will still convene on Thursday, September 3 to review these reports.

Ayo, meanwhile, also kept mum on the ongoing probe. However, he promised to cooperate and hoped that the issues will be resolved soon.

“Regarding the alleged ‘bubble training’ in Sorsogon, I will not comment for now as UST is already investigating the matter as well as the IATF. I am fully cooperating with the on-going investigations and praying that in due time, this will be properly addressed,” the coach said.