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Nonoy, Cuajao debunk allegations of bad food, maltreatment in Bicol bubble

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Tiebreaker Times Nonoy, Cuajao debunk allegations of bad food, maltreatment in Bicol bubble Basketball News UAAP UST  UST Men's Basketball UAAP Season 83 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 83 Mark Nonoy Deo Cuajao Coronavirus Pandemic CJ Cansino Brent Paraiso

Days after leaving University of Santo Tomas and committing to De La Salle University, Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao revealed details of the events inside Aldin Ayo’s compound in Capuy, Sorsogon.

Nonoy, 20, and Cuajao, 19, shared on Power and Play that they arrived in Bicol last July 29 with four other players — whom Tiebreaker Times’ sources revealed as Aldave Canoy (19), Dave Ando (20), Ralf Gesalem (20), and Migs Pangilinan (20).

They came in late since, according Davao-native Cuajao, “Mahirap po kasi ‘yun process kasi galing kami sa probinsya.”

“Kasabayan po ‘yung mga taga-province. ‘Yung mga taga-Maynila, nauna na sa amin,” added Negros Occidental-native Nonoy.

The other 11 players arrived on separate dates — June 17, June 19, June 24, and June 28.

According to Cuajao, the entire Growling Tigers team knew as early as March that a training camp would take place in Sorsogon.

“Opo, sinabi na po sa amin. ‘Yung option sana sa UST, pero bawal pa kasi sa Manila, ECQ pa po,” recalled Cuajao.

Moreover, Nonoy and Cuajao affirmed that a waiver was given to then-IPEA director Fr. Jannel Abogado, O.P. through Athletics Moderator Rodrigo Sambuang.

“Opo, nagbigay po kami ng waiver kasi required sa amin,” bared Nonoy.

When Nonoy and Cuajao arrived in Sorsogon, they disclosed that though they were quarantined inside Ayo’s court — described as a compound that has a basketball court, a gym, and numerous rooms — they immediately trained.

“Nung hindi pa nag-start ‘yung class, hinihiwalay po ‘yung training. Nung dumating kami roon, kasi naka-quarantine kami, 5AM kami nagtre-training dun. ‘Yung mga nauna dun, bandang 8 ‘pag tapos na kami. Hindi kami sabay-sabay nagtre-training dun,” said Nonoy.

“Ino-observe din namin ‘yung protocol ng IATF dun. Wala naman kami nilabag siguro.”

“Nasa bahay kami nila Coach kasi kumpleto po kasi dun. May court siya, may weights room, tapos sa kwarto, tig-tatlong tao po kami. Sa court po kami naglalaro kasi compound po ‘yun,” described Cuajao.

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No scrimmage took place, according to Nonoy, adding that they followed “protocols”.

However, the IATF only released protocols for training for professional teams.

Nonoy and Cuajao then countered the claims made by skipper CJ Cansino and some other Growling Tigers.

First off, Cansino exposed in a leaked group chat message that the food in the Bicol bubble was “oily”.

“Hindi po namin nagugustuhan yung food dito at konti lang kasi kaya yung iba sa amin, nag-oorder ng fast food,” read Cansino’s message.

“Kaso ang problema nagkasakit yung iba sa amin [tapos] sa amin sinisisi kung bakit kami nagkakasakit. Pero sa tingin namin dahil sa luto nila dahil puro pork at mamantika.”

“Yung binibigay na food sa amin, sobrang sakto lang po. Never po naging sobra yung ulam na binibigay sa amin. Tapos sobrang dami po natitira nila na ulam pero hindi nila binibigay sa amin,” added Brent Paraiso.

But for Cuajao, he and the members of the team that came from the province had no qualms over their meals.

“Sa amin mga taga-probinsya, wala kami problema sa pagkain. ‘Yung mga nauna, ‘yun ‘yung nagreklamo. Hindi namin alam ‘yung nangyari. Sa amin, wala kaming reklamo.”

Besides this, there were also claims that Ayo did not allow the team to return home, resulting in the expulsion of Cansino from the squad.

The two debunked this, saying that they were allowed to go home anytime.

“Hindi po kasi meron kaming choice. Sabi rin ni coach na malaking tulong din sa amin ‘yun. Actually, puwede kaming umuwi,” said Cuajao.

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“Siguro, ‘yung rason na gusto umuwi nila CJ e na homesick sila kasi first time lang ata nila malayo sa family nila. Hindi sila rin ganun kasanay. Halos wala naman sinabi si coach na ‘pag umuwi ka, wala ka na sa team,” added Nonoy.

“For example, uwi kami, tapos ‘pag gusto namin bumalik the next month, puwede naman kami umuwi.”

Out of the 12 players from the Season 82 team of UST, only four remain.

The school is still under investigation for these incidents.

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