FORMER University of the Philippines player Kevin Rae Astorga was nabbed for alleged possession of high-grade marijuana and cocaine in a buy-bust operation in Paranaque City on Tuesday.
A Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) team led hy Jill Salamanca, Southern Police District, and Paranaque police launched an operation past midnight that led to the arrest of Astorga and four others at the JEMP Building in BF Homes following months of surveillance.
Astorga suited up for the Fighting Maroons in 2009 and was the captain of the national youth team which competed in the 2004 SEABA Under-18 Championship.
Astorga also played for Pharex B-Complex in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL), where he teamed up with current Alaska forward Vic Manuel in the defunct league's final season in 2011.
Coach of that team, made up of the core of the Maroons' UAAP team, was Aboy Castro.
Arrested with Astorga in the drug sting were Jerico Dumagan, Mico Mojares, Agustin Montejo, and Karen Salvajan. They were caught with 150 grams of Kush and self-sealing plastic sachets containing cocaine, the police said.
Also found in their possesion were various drug paraphernalia, two mobile phones, and the P150,000 marked money used by the PDEA agent who acted as the buyer.
PDEA has yet to determine the total amount of the confiscated drugs.
Multiple reports including by the Daily Tribune bared Astorga was celebrating his birthday with a pot session when the drug sting happened.