HAVING represented the black, gold, and white for one full season in the UAAP, Deo Cuajao confirmed his retreat from the University of Santo Tomas.
The 6-foot-1 guard posted an open letter on his social media accounts Monday.
"Laking pasasalamat ko sa Panginoon sa pagkakataon na napasok ako sa UST Growling Tigers. Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanila at minold nila ang aking pagkatao," he said, thanking the Thomasian community for its support.
SPIN.ph reported on Sunday that alongside Mark Nonoy, Cuajao is bound for De La Salle University.
In his letter, he also expressed his gratitude to former coach Aldin Ayo, who had earlier resigned from his position after the Bicol bubble controversy.
"Gusto ko pong magpasalamat sa buong UST community, sa buong coaching staff and managers, and most especially kay coach Aldin Ayo na nagsilbing aking pangalawang ama," he said.
Like Mark Nonoy and Rhenz Abando, Cuajao was also scouted by Ayo.
Although given limited playing time in his rookie year with the España-based squad —posting a total of 13 points and 12 rebounds in 12 games — Cuajao remained appreciative of the opportunity he had been given.
He also firmly asserted that it was the uncertainty of the situation surrounding the Tigers that prompted his decision to transfer.
"Hanggang sa huli, umaasa akong magkakaroon ng linaw at maayos na patutunguhan ang team despite sa lahat ng pinagdaraanan namin, ngunit hanggang ngayon, walang tiyak na direksyon. Mabigat man ang loob ko, kinakailangan ko na talaga magdesisyon at maghanap ng katiyakan para sa career ko dahil dito ko binubuo ang pangarap ko para sa pamilya ko," he explained.
He added: "Ilang araw na hindi ako makatulog kasi napamahal na ang team sa'kin lalo na si coach Aldin na nagbigay sa'kin ng break at kumpyansa."
By the end of his letter, the Holy Child College of Davao graduate also mentioned that he's dead set on self-improvement in his career as he readies himself for his big move.
"Handa na ako sa bagong hamon para sa career ko sa basketball. Pero ang masisigurado ko lang, kung ano man ang mga pinaghirapan ko sa UST, dodoblehin ko para makatulong ako sa school na lilipatan ko," he said.