BRENT Paraiso has decided to leave University of Santo Tomas, which is feeling the heat of the controversy that the men’s basketball team created for allegedly violating health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 22-year-old Paraiso was one of the three Growling Tigers who left the alleged Sorsogon training “bubble” last Wednesday, the two others being erstwhile captain CJ Cansino and rookie Bismarck Lina.
“Nakakalungkot pero kailangan. Mahal na mahal kita UST,” Paraiso posted on his Twitter account Saturday.
With his decision to move out of the Tigers’ den, Paraiso is most likely done with his UAAP career. Prior to his stint with UST last year, Paraiso suited up for La Salle in 2016 and 2017.
Together with his close friend Ricci Rivero, Paraiso left the Green Archers and underwent one-year residency for the Tigers in 2018.
Paraiso was pivotal in UST’s drive to the UAAP men’s basketball Finals last year, posting averages of 7.2 points, four rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest, and shot 32 percent from the three-point area.
UST is in the center of attention after Cansino exposed the training sessions in coach Aldin Ayo’s hometown despite the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)-enforced prohibitions on amateur sports teams.
Training for non-professional teams under any of the four variations of quarantine in the country has been strictly prohibited by the IATF as recommended by the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board and Department of Health.
The only available exemptions by the IATF in its Joint Administrative Order issued last month are professional basketball and football, which are allowed to resume training – but only in small groups – under approved health protocols.
The results of UST’s internal investigation is expected to be released tomorrow, when the UAAP will meet again with Commission on Higher Education, PSC, GAB and DOH.
Paraiso is grateful for the support that the UST community gave to him, especially when he was welcomed open arms by the school two years ago.
“Thank you for welcoming me with open arms. I will forever treasure every moment I had with the community. It is hard to say goodbye, but I have to,” said Paraiso in an interview with the school’s campus paper Varsitarian.