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Francis Lopez criticized over ‘horror train’ incident

by Bryan Gadingan

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines’ Francis Lopez, the Fighting Maroons’ do-it-all rookie forward, prompted controversy online after being captured on video grabbing an employee’s mask during a “horror train” ride at an amusement park.

The Fighting Maroons supporters had varied feelings on UAAP 86’s Rookie of the Year. Some say that this incident should be dismissed as “kanal humor,” whereas the majority of it was critical of him for his actions.

The clip was taken from a video on their team captain CJ Cansino’s YouTube account when the UP Men’s Basketball Team embarked on a vacation to Subic, Zambales. On December 18, the vlog was put out.  

At first, it was a lovely video of the basketball team visiting the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) to conduct a Christmas gift-giving ceremony for the children. 

The following segments of the video highlighted their excursion to Subic, including riding a horror train at the province’s Festival Carnival. 

However, during the ride, one of the members was spotted forcibly removing the mask of a staffer who had been hired to terrify the visitors. Given the train’s speed, the player was unable to pull it off. 

Fans were able to identify the individual as Lopez after closely analyzing the footage. This elicited a variety of reactions from their supporters, including:

Meanwhile, Lopez published a statement on Facebook earlier today when the controversy erupted online. Admitting that his actions had gone too far, but that he had not intended to harm the circus employee.

Screenshot from: @FrancisLopez – Facebook

“On a recent outing with my teammates to a carnival in Subic, I inadvertently hurt a carnival employee in one of the carnival rides. This thoughtless moment was recorded on video and was later posted on social media, and I take full responsibility for what happened,” he added in the statement.

Lopez and Cansino are attempting to contact the aforementioned employee in order to apologize to him in person and clarify that it was not their aim to harm anyone. However, as of now, the players are still looking for the aforementioned employee.

“I am sorry for any harm that I have caused, and I am committed to learning from this experience. I will do my best to be more mindful of my actions in the future, and I will make every effort to remember that what I do reflects on the values of my family, my team, and the university I represent,” he added.

Lopez quickly thanked the UP community for its support and for holding him accountable for his conduct. The incoming sophomore sensation promises to give his all on and off the court.



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