Former UST star Chris Cantonjos runs practices as uncertainty lingers for Tigers
Former Tigers center Chris Cantonjos is the coach of UST's high school and women's team and now runs the practices of the senior squad. Dante Peralta

THE team may be in a state of uncertainty over its head-coaching position, but University of Santo Tomas has continued its preparation for the next UAAP season with Chris Cantonjos presiding over the Growling Tigers’ training.

Cantonjos, a former UST cager in the nineties and currently the head coach of the school's juniors and women's basketball team, has been running practices for the men's squad along with his staff as school officials remained tight-lipped on the turmoil surrounding its coaching situation. 

“Siguro mga isang buwan kalahati na sila nag-eensayo,” said a source. “Siguro kapag may coach na, konting dagdag na lang. May plays na programa ng coach, tapos scrimmage at drills.”

Whether Cantonjos, who also played for the national team and for Tanduay in the PBA, will eventually become the next head coach of the Growling Tigers is still unknown as Bong Dela Cruz officially holds the post, according to UST athletic director Ermito De Sagun.

However, De Sagun said the mentor who led the Growling Tigers to a runner-up finish in UAAP Season 78 is still barred from performing his duties pending the completion of an investigation.

De Sagun declined to reveal why Dela Cruz is being investigated but sources said allegations of abuse to players were hurled at the UST coach.

Dela Cruz has since denied the accusations, saying that he will air his side in a proper forum.

[See Dela Cruz says 'maltreatment' accusations not true, insists conscience is clear]

Bal David, Estong Ballesteros, and Bennet Palad, sources bared, are among the candidates for the head coaching job at UST, which will no longer have its veteran core of Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul, and Ed Daquioag next season.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports