UST assistant coach, captain deny players' upheaval over alleged Boy Sablan outburst
UST coach Boy Sablan, who recently underwent gall bladder surgery, lets his assistants call the shots during a game against Letran last week. Jerome Ascano

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas deputy coach Tylon Darjuan and captain Marvin Lee denied players are in an upheaval after an alleged outburst by head coach Boy Sablan in the aftermath of a 71-65 loss to Letran last week.

Darjuan, who has been calling the shots for the Tigers in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup since Sablan underwent gallbladder surgery on May 15, denied some players are frustrated and seriously considering leaving the team.

"Kalokohan yun, di totoo yun. Mga paratang lang yun," said Darjuan. 

During their game against the Knights, Sablan sat near the bench while letting his assistant coaches take charge. The tongue-lashing allegedly happened during an hour-long meeting inside the dugout after the game.

Acting team captain Lee also jumped to his mentor's defense, saying they were surprised upon learning about the issue that has once again rocked a team already in the middle of a controversy over the departure of Embons Bonleon and Renzo Subido.

"Nagulat kami nung last huddle namin, sabi nagmumura daw si coach, hindi naman si coach yung nagsasalita eh, pinagsalita niya kami isa-isa kaya kami nagtagal ng isang oras (sa dugout)," Lee said.

Darjuan also shot down a claim that one player allegedly went home to consider sitting out the season. 

Zach Huang, Joco Macasaet, and Reggie Basibas were absent from UST's 59-86 loss to San Beda on Sunday but Darjuan said they all asked permission from Sablan way before the match.

Huang attended a wedding, while Macasaet and Basibas had to go back to their home province.

"Nagpaalam naman lahat," he said.

Darjuan added that Sablan was so considerate that he allows his players to leave in the middle of their preseason campaign, so long as the reason is valid.

"Sobrang bait ni Coach Boy. Kahit nga anong hilingin ng mga players binibigay nya," he said. "Hindi sya mahirap kausap. Tulad ngayon humiling mga players na kumain dun sa isang ano, parang bonding nila, pero pinagbigyan nya."

In the end, Darjuan said, they don't let such issues get in the way as they continue their UAAP buildup.

"Sinasabi lang nila Coach Boy sa aming lahat na wag magpadala. Kasi di naman nila alam mga nangyayari," he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros