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UAI withdraws support to UP Lady Maroons due to Okumu

One of the backers of the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons has pulled out of the team.

In a letter penned by United Auctioneers Inc. president Rommel Sytin to UP chancellor Michael Tan, he stated that his company will no longer be boosting the UP Women’s Volleyball program.

The full statement was posted by Mark Reyes of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“It is with a heavy that I have come to this decision to pull-out our sponsorship for the UPWVT immediately.”

Back in 2015, the late Dominic Sytin — then-president of UAI — pledged full-backing to the Lady Maroons as he wanted to give back to his alma mater.

With UAI’s support, UP were able to join in the recruitment wars and train abroad.

In their three years with the Lady Maroons, UP only made the Final Four once back in Season 78. UP also won two preseason tournaments back in 2018, taking the PVL Collegiate Conference and the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam.

However, the breakdown between UAI and UP is due to Lady Maroons head coach Godfrey Okumu. Yes, the tactician hired by both UAI and UP back in 2017.

“We are extremely unhappy to note that the University has opted to disregard our request to take out Godfrey Okumu from the team.”

For UAI, Okumu’s decision to sign with PVL club team Motolite in the midst of their Season 81 campaign was “disrespectful”. Moreover, this was just a tipping point to their already-broken relationship with the Kenyan, according to Sytin.

“If this is not a show of being a rogue and arrogant individual, then we regret to say that we do not understand the standards UP upholds,” Sytin said.

“This is not the only instance where we find his arrogance to be unacceptable. We can give you a list should you ask for it.”

Despite the harsh breakup between the two camps, UAI hopes that the UP Lady Maroons can continue on with their program without them.

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