Former UST Growling Tigers coach Aldin Ayo. (UAAP)

Former University of Santo Tomas men’s basketball coach Aldin Ayo was cleared of any violation of government health protocols in an alleged training “bubble” held by the team at his hometown of Capuy, Sorsogon.

The Varsitarian, the official publication of UST, posted on social media on Wednesday a certification signed by Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero, saying Mr. Ayo was “not liable” for violations of the health guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The office of Mr. Escudero said it acted on the recommendation by the Sorsogon police who conducted an investigation on the alleged training bubble by the Growling Tigers held amid the pandemic beginning June.

 “This is to certify that based on the Sorsogon City Police Station Memorandum dated September 23, 2020 (Annex A) the Office of the Governor is in consonance with said Memorandum’s findings considering that there is a clear exhibition of legitimate activities undertaken by former UST head coach Aldin V. Ayo; that the actions performed by former Coach Aldin Ayo is in accordance with the health protocol and guidelines as per existing Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease…” the certification read.

“And that there was no UST sanctioned team basketball training conducted in the domicile of Mr. Aldin V. Ayo or was there any prohibited basketball activities conducted by his guests outside of his residence within the jurisdiction of the province of Sorsogon, and that Mr. Aldin V. Ayo is not liable for violation of any health protocol pursuant EID-IATF guidelines and local executive orders in the Province of Sorsogon,” it continued.

According to the report of the provincial police, the men’s UST basketball team was able to meet the needed requirements prior to going to Sorsogon.

These included declaring that they are not persons under monitoring (PUMs), did not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days and were tested accordingly prior to the trip, and secured all the necessary travel pass from the Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

The team also observed the mandatory 14-day mandatory home quarantine before they proceeded to its “personal development farm training.”

Mr. Ayo resigned from his post on Sept. 4 amid the investigation being conducted on the alleged bubble.

He was later meted an indefinite ban by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines for his role in it, which bars him “from participating, in any capacity, in all league events and UAAP-sanctioned activities.”

Mr. Ayo spent two seasons with the Espana-based school, leading the Growling Tigers to a finals appearance last year. – MASM