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    UST coach Bong Dela Cruz says maltreatment accusations not true, conscience is clear

    Feb 1, 2016
    UST coach Bong Dela Cruz says accusations of physical and verbal abuse he allegedly committed against some of his players are not true. Jerome Ascano

    UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Bong Dela Cruz said his conscience is clear as he broke his silence over allegations of physical and verbal abuse against his players in the wake of an investigation launched by the school into its basketball program.

    In a statement released to media outlets on Monday, Dela Cruz said accusations that he maltreated his players during his first two years in charge of the Tigers weren't true but added he prefers to address the issues one by one in the proper venue and forum.

    "Alam ko sa aking sarili na malinis ang aking konsensya subalit mas pipiliin ko na kung kinakailangan ay sa tamang lugar o proper forum ako magsasalita upang maipahayag ko ang aking panig," Dela Cruz said.

    On Thursday, UST athletic director Ermito De Sagon confirmed to school organ The Varsitarian that an investigation has launched an investigation into its “basketball program in reference to the university’s policies.” 

    On the same day, multiple sources revealed to Spin.ph several complaints hurled by some players against the coach, including alleged physical abuse, in the past two seasons.  

    [See UST source details maltreatment, violence allegedly committed by Dela Cruz against players]

    Dela Cruz said the accusations aren't true.

    Nais kong ipabatid na simula nang lumabas ang mga "issues" o usapin laban sa akin ay nagpasya akong manahimik, dahil walang katotohanan ang mga binabatong "issues" laban sa akin at naniniwala ako na magtatapos ito sa tinatawag na "Natural Death," Dela Cruz said.

    "Subalit sa paglipas ng mga araw ay naramdaman ko na lumalala na ginagawang paninira hindi sa kakayahan ko bilang coach kung 'di paninira sa aking pagkatao."

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    Dela Cruz said the 'trial by publicity' has affected his family and tainted the hardwork and dedication he put into the UST job.

    "Lubha kong ikinalulungkot ang mga nangyayaring kaganapan dahil bukod sa akin, ang aking pamilya ay lubha nang naaapektuhan sa nangyayari na trial by publicity, dahil alam nila kung paano ko ibinuhos ang aking panahon, oras at dedikasyon bilang Head Coach ng aming koponan.

    "Sa katunayan, bago mag-umpisa ang Season 78 ng UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament ay walang naniniwala na ang aming koponan ay makakarating sa Final 4. Subalit bunga ng pagkakaisa ng buong team kasama ang coaching staff ay nakarating kami sa Championship higit pa sa inaasahan ng nakararami.

    "Umaasa din ako na sana ay hindi madamay pa ang aming unibersidad na ang tanging hangarin lamang ay ang kapakanan ng kanilang mag-aaral.

    "Umaasa ako na sana ay igalang ang aking desisyon."

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    UST coach Bong Dela Cruz says accusations of physical and verbal abuse he allegedly committed against some of his players are not true. Jerome Ascano
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