UST bars Tigers’ coach from practices | Inquirer Sports

UST bars Tigers’ coach from practices

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 01:08 AM January 29, 2016
UST forward Kevin Ferrer (right) along with his head coach Bong dela Cruz and teammate Kent Lao (left) spoke with reporters following their 69-67 squeaker over FEU Sunday. Ferrer scored 18 points while Lao had 14. Mark Giongco

UST forward Kevin Ferrer (right) along with his head coach Bong dela Cruz and teammate Kent Lao (left) spoke with reporters following their 69-67 squeaker over FEU Sunday. Ferrer scored 18 points while Lao had 14. Mark Giongco

University of Santo Tomas coach Bong dela Cruz had been ordered “to stay out of team practices,” according to a school official Thursday as he skirted media reports last week that the men’s basketball mentor had been fired.

Aside from getting barred from the team, Dela Cruz had also been put under formal inquiry, said Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P., director of the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics, in a report in UST’s official publication, The Varsitarian.

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“[Dela Cruz] cannot handle the practices until we have made a decision,” said De Sagon.

The development came just a month after UST finished runner-up to Far Eastern University in  the UAAP championship series.

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De Sagon didn’t disclose the details of the investigation, noting only that it’s “about our basketball program in reference to the University’s policies.”

Sources have disclosed that former pros Bal David and Bennett Palad, former Tigers deputies Rodil Sablan and Estong Ballesteros, and varsity mentor Jinino Manansala—all UST alumni—head the coaching candidates.

Dela Cruz steered the Tigers to the UAAP title series after a surprise elimination run where they finished No. 1 with an 11-3 record.

The Finals stint was a huge turnaround from Dela Cruz’s debut season in 2014, when the team finished sixth with a dismal 5-9 slate.

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TAGS: Basketball, bong dela cruz, University of Santo Tomas
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