New University of the Philippine recruit Bismarck Lina cleared the air about his decision to leave University of Santo Tomas.
The 19-year-old had initially committed to the Growling Tigers last February 20. He is the eighth member of the team to leave the school in the wake of the controversial Bicol bubble.
Allegations have been raised on social media that agents played a huge part in the transfers of the student-athletes.
But for Lina, a product of the Tiger Cubs program, he stressed that no agents were involved in the decision-making process. The choice was between him and his family.
“Family ko lang talaga ang nag-decide, pati po ako. Gusto ko lang po linawin na wala pong akong agent o agency na sinalihan. Kami lang po ang nagdesisyon dito.”
Lina has a Thomasian lineage.
The 6-foot-5 big man is the first cousin of UST legend Kevin Ferrer, while his other cousin Vince was also part of the Growling Tigers program.
Though he did not want to leave, the uncertainty regarding the fate of UST led his family to decide for him to go elsewhere.
“Mahirap po na desisyon ito kasi ‘yung pamilya ko po talagang mga Tomasino sila. Si Kuya Kevin alam naman natin ang mga nagawa niya sa UST, tapos pati isa ko pang pinsan si Vince naglaro rin sa UST,” the UAAP Season 81 Mythical Team member shared.
“Pero nung kinausap ko po ang pamilya ko, nakapag-decide kami na lumipat ako ng ibang school.”
Though he will be donning the colors of the Fighting Maroons starting Season 84, Lina vows that he will still carry with him the values taught to him by UST High.
After all, once a Thomasian, always a Thomasian.
“Matagal din akong naglaro sa UST. Kahit high school lang ako dun, talagang binigay ko ang lahat para sa school. Mahirap man ang desisyon na ginawa namin pero kailangan po,” he expressed.
“Ipapangako ko po na kahit nasa UP na ako, dala ko pa rin ang UST sa bawat laro, bawat ensayo, at bawat klase na sasalihan ko.”