University of the East has made the tough decision to disband five of its sporting programs due to budget cuts caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Prior to the start of the first semester for school year 2021-22, the athletics department of the school received the mandate to limit the scholarships given to student-athletes due to low enrollment. The programs the school had to let go were its chess, taekwondo, softball, and high school judo teams, and as well as its weightlifting club.
For softball, a total of 14 student-batters lost their scholarships, including 10 seniors in Cristina Alowa, Theresa Bernante, Jonalyn Carandang, Angelica Cruz, Blanch Diana, Vanessa Dumadapat, Terisa Estorco, Jane Garayan, Kiana Pajarillaga, and Jeanette Ursabia.
The UE Softball team has yet to compete in two years. They finished in sixth place in UAAP Season 81.
A total of 17 student-chessers, on the other hand, were not given scholarships as well. These are Arvie Aguilar, Ali Ali Bin, Shaira Aquino, John Kenneth Gelua, Roselle Locmayoan, Norz Daniel Lopez, Samantha Lopez, Isabel Palibino, Francis Roi Parro, Michael Suacillo, Kryzalin Ibanez, and Darlyn Villanueva for the collegiate division; and Lennard Dizon, Joshua Roque, John Rozel Simon, Allan Hilario, and Terrence Relativo for high school.
UE’s boys’ chess team won UAAP Season 82.
The Red Jins that had to be let-go were Mark Abenis, Ara Adora, Rosalyn Balala, Lawrence Borres, Dona Duque, Rodrigo Masgon, Patrick Odrada, Philip Omega, Jemuel Rendora, Chelsea Prestoza, Ivan Tagsip, Kyle Tagsip, Micha Villarma, Tricia Padua, Francis De Jesus, and Dinah Geronimo for the seniors; and Ken Jaranilla and Vinn Pineda for the juniors. Only Villarma was able to secure a transfer prior to the start of the academic year, moving to National University.
The high school judo team that is handled by Coach Rod Rodriguez won in the girls’ division of UAAP Season 82.
The weightlifting club of UE, on the other hand, is being handled by legendary head coach Edmond Cardano.
For UE chess head coach Perzeus Orozco, it was hard for him especially to see his players — who have been his second children — to see their dreams come crashing down because of this.
“No words can express how sad I am. Iyong nakita ko parang bumagsak lahat ng pangarap nila, mas doble ang sakit sa akin kasi wala ako magawa sa situation,” lamented a helpless Orozco.
“Kahit kasi ako po nawalan ng bread and butter. Kaya financially, di ko din sila ma-support.
“In fact, ilang gabi na ako di makatulog sa sobrang sakit para sa mga players ko, lalo na yung totally walang kakayahan magbayad ng tuition fee and dahil sa nangyari eh titigil na lang sa pagaaral,” the youthful head coach furthered.
Fund-raisers have been set up by the varsity teams affected.
UE’s chess team is organizing an online chess tournament to raise funds that will be split by the varsity team.
UE softball is asking for donations as well through these accounts:
THERESA MAE BERNANTE
UNION BANK ACCOUNT
Same with weightlifting through:
Name: Alyssa Cuesta
Gcash number: 09564636498
UE taekwondo through:
ARA MAE L. ADORA / Senior Women Treasurer
JEMUEL M. RENDORA / Senior Men Treasurer
PNB: 1660 1007 8609
KEN XAIRELL JARANILLA / Junior Men Treasurer
For Red Jins head coach Paul Mirasol, his wards are the epitome of what being a student-athlete is all about. In fact, some are even breadwinners to their family.
“Sobrang hardworking mga yan pag dating sa pagiging athletes and sa academics,” said Mirasol. “Kasi lagi ko sila nire-remind kailangan nila maging both magaling at masipag sa acads and pagiging athletes. Kasi hindi sila matatawag na student athlete kung sa isang bagay lang sila maging hardworking. Dapat both.
“And yun ginawa naman po nila kasi una wala po silang mga bagsak last school year, and namamanage nila makapag-train online,” he continued.
“Kung tutuusin pa nga yung iba nagsa-sideline sila ng work sa province nila para may extra income sila. Ganun po sila ka hardworking po.”
Tiebreaker Times tried to reach out to UE athletics director Rod Roque but has yet to receive a reply as of publishing.