MANILA, Philippines -- Reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy and fellow guard Deo Cuajao are still undecided on whether or not they will leave University of Santo Tomas.
This, according to Team Phenom Sports president Jax Chua, who represents the players.
The two players have been linked to a transfer to De La Salle University, but Chua makes it clear that no decision has been made as both Nonoy and Cuajao are waiting on how UST will act on former head coach Aldin Ayo's appeal to the UAAP.
"Mark and Deo are loyal to Coach Aldin," said Chua. "Si Mark, high school pa lang, si Coach Aldin na kumuha para sa UST High School. Tapos si Deo naman, two weeks before the season last year, kinuha ni coach, pero ni-line-up pa rin."
"Kaya we are still waiting kung ie-endorse nga ng school 'yung appeal ni coach," he added. "Nagmi-meeting daw sila as of the moment tungkol dito sa UST."
Ayo resigned from UST last week in the wake of the investigation into the "Sorsogon bubble," as the Growling Tigers trained in his hometown since June in a possible violation of quarantine protocols.
He has also been banned indefinitely by the UAAP, though Ayo is appealing this sanction.
Several players have already left España in the wake of the controversy. Former captain CJ Cansino -- whose ouster from the team blew the lid on the "bubble" -- has transferred to the University of the Philippines.
Breakout star Rhenz Abando, along with veteran Brent Paraiso and Ira Bataller, left the UAAP entirely and jumped ship to "sister school" Letran in the NCAA.
Chua acknowledged that both Nonoy and Cuajao have talked to other schools, but they would prefer to stay in UST.
"Hirap sila because of their loyalty to Coach Aldin talaga, at gusto talaga nila mag-stay sa UST," he said.
"But at the same time, time is running out since enrollment for the first semester in all schools are coming to a close," he added.
The speedy Nonoy emerged as the top rookie in Season 82 after averaging 10 points, 3.86 rebounds, and 2.29 assists, and playing a major role in UST's run to the Finals.
UAAP, UST Growling Tigers, Mark Nonoy, Deo Cuajao, University of Santo Tomas, Aldin Ayo