UAAP MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo leaves UST for Europe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 02 2021 12:16 PM

Soulemane Chabi Yo earned MVP honors in what was his lone season with the UST Growling Tigers. UAAP Media.
Soulemane Chabi Yo earned MVP honors in what was his lone season with the UST Growling Tigers. UAAP Media.


MANILA, Philippines -- Beninese big man Soulemane Chabi Yo will forego his final playing year with University of Santo Tomas (UST) and play basketball in Europe.

The Varsitarian on Monday night reported that Chabi Yo will end up playing just one season for the Growling Tigers, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting his plans to play another year in the UAAP.

"My plan was to finish my playing years in UST before leaving, but since COVID came, that destroyed all the plans," Chabi Yo said.

"I hope you guys will understand me," he also said. "Thank you all and thanks to the UST community for the love and support. I wish all the best to the team, and also good luck on the upcoming season."

Chabi Yo transferred to UST from Colegio de San Lorenzo in 2018. The 6-foot-6 big man made his debut in UAAP Season 82, putting up 16.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 1.29 assists, and earning Most Valuable Player honors in what turned out to be his lone campaign for the Growling Tigers. 

With Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando, and Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy leading the charge, UST reached the finals of the men's basketball tournament where they were swept by Ateneo de Manila University. 

The UST men's basketball program has gone through a major revamp since then, with Aldin Ayo leaving the post amid contentious circumstances while several players also transferred from the school. Jinino Manansala has since taken over as head coach.

The UAAP season is set to start in February 2022, after the 82nd season was cancelled in April 2020 and the 83rd season scrapped outright due to the global health crisis.