MEMBERS of the UST Growling Tigers came to coach Boy Sablan’s defense amid a former teammate’s allegation playing time was “for sale” under his watch.
Mario Bonleon, who will not suit up for the Tigers next season, claimed in a Rappler report that some players were paying to get quality minutes from Sablan.
“Syempre sa amin, ‘yung issue kay Embons (Bonleon) sa mga sinabi niya, nainis kami. Hindi namin alam kung saan niya nakuha ‘yung ganoong [information,]” team captain Marvin Lee told the Varsitarian.
“Nagbayad ba siya para magamit siya? Kasi hindi namin alam kung paano niya naiisip ‘yung mga ganoon,” Lee said.
Veteran Jeepy Faundo said he was surprised with the allegation.
“Para sa amin, pangit kasi nakasama namin si Embons. Ang sa amin naman, bakit siya magsasabi ng ganoon? Wala namang katotohanan ‘yung mga ‘ya,” he said.
“‘Yung lang [reklamo] ko kasi para kaming magkakapatid dito sa team tapos bigla siyang gaganoon sa amin. Hindi namin alam kung bakit siya [nagagalit].”
Another Tiger, who refused to be identified, disputed Bonleon’s claim, saying most of the players came from provinces and did not have the means to bribe Sablan.
“Nagulat lang ako doon sa sinabi niya na ‘yun na nga, ‘yung playing time kay coach Boy is for sale. Nagulat lang kasi ‘yung mga player dito wala namang pambayad,” the source said.
In a report by Rappler, Bonleon said his playing time dwindled from 16.6 minutes per game (mpg) under former UST coach Bong dela Cruz to just 8.3 (mpg) under Sablan.
But the anonymous player noted that Bonleon suffered an injury on his wrist at the beginning of the season which kept him out in 11 of the Tigers’ 14 games.
“Siguro iniingatan din ni coach Boy para hindi lumala ‘yung injury niya. Kaya siguro binawas-bawasan din kasi fracture ‘yun, delikado rin ‘yun,” the player said.