BLOODIED but unbowed.
While PBA D-League squad Technological Institute of the Philippines has disbanded its varsity teams due to the financial repercussions brought about by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Engineers coach Sebastian “Potit” de Vera is convinced it’s not yet the end of the road.
“TIP’s varsity programs have been disbanded until such time they are able to run and (the school) supports the programs well again. Disbanded, yes, for good? Couldn’t say,” de Vera told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“That (return) will only happen after the fact that it is fully safe to resume sports, which they (experts) project to be at least two years from now,” he added.
The economic crunch inflicted by the coronavirus crisis told heavily on TIP, according to de Vera.
“Unlike most college programs, TIP’s varsity programs run really from TIP’s cash flow. No godfathers, no sponsors— it’s a college program,” said de Vera.
“TIP could not in its good conscience charge students the normal athletics fee and facilities fee which really are the blood of TIP’s varsity programs during these times. . . so the first to go are the varsity programs.”
Despite disbanding, De Vera said the school will still give scholarships to the players.
“Of course, everyone is sad about it, but we tried hard to get them excited about the future because God’s plans are always good and perfect. We just don’t see and understand it now,” offered de Vera.
“Scholarships will still be honored by TIP for those who are still interested to continue. So far, everyone’s up to the challenge though some have transferred to other schools. But just the same, they carry with them the #TIPWay.”
Eight Engineers have moved to NCAA and UAAP schools such as big man Ivan Santos, and forwards Marlon Navarro and Jopet Soriano, who transferred to Mapua University.
Forward Bryan Santos went to University of Santo Tomas; forward Ximone Sandagon to Far Eastern U; wingman Warren Calara to La Salle; and guard Jhon Calisay and forward JV Yanes to Adamson University.