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La Salle's Aldin Ayo mum on UST transfer rumors

MANILA — From Taft to Espana?

De La Salle University head coach Aldin Ayo refused to comment on rumors that he will be transferring to University of Santo Tomas (UST) next UAAP season.

Speculations that Ayo will be leaving the Green Archers for the embattled Growling Tigers surfaced in the last couple of weeks when UST coach Boy Sablan exited from the squad after a dismal 1-13 record this season.

On Sunday, Ayo and La Salle lost the UAAP basketball title to rival Ateneo de Manila University, 88-86, in Game 3 of the finals despite parading a relatively intact lineup led by two-time MVP Ben Mbala and Ricci Rivero.

“Di ko pa iniisip ‘yan. Ako, iniisip ko lang ngayon ‘yung laro muna at ‘yung team na ito. Ayoko ng mga ganyan,” Ayo said.

However, Ayo admitted that he has lots of friends in UST including the priest who brought him to Manila.

“Yung pari na nagdala sa akin dito sa Manila, he’s in UST. ‘Yung adviser ko sa thesis ko, he’s a Dominican, he’s also in UST. There are lots of priests na nandun sa UST na friends ko, pati alumni. Pero regarding sa issue na ‘yun, I don’t want to comment on that,” Ayo stressed.

Meanwhile, Ayo opened up to Aljun Melecio about his possible return to La Salle.

“I love these guys, I love these players,” Ayo explained. “Pero day-to-day basis kami. Nothing’s definite.”

The Green Archers’ coach revealed that he signed a four-month contract with La Salle last September which expires this month.

“I signed a four-month contract. That’s for La Salle only. As for the managers, may usapan kami,” said Ayo.

Ayo also noted a pattern in his coaching career, citing the same fate he experienced during his first and second seasons in different teams.

“Natatawa ako because of the pattern. I always win in my first season and I’m always first runner-up sa second season ko [like] FilOil, Davao, even in the province,” he said.

If he stays with the Green Archers in Season 81, it will be the first time he will be staying for a third season in a team. 

Word to his bashers

Meanwhile, Ayo also addressed the negative criticisms thrown at him this season, saying it was just part of the competition.

The former champion coach admitted that he is aware of the buzz going on social media about him.

“Ang daming distractions sa social media, sa lahat. Mumurahin ka, ano-ano ang sasabihin sa iyo. Pati ‘yung other coaches, they are trying to ridicule you, bully you,” Ayo said. “I have one message to them — ‘I forgive, I forgive, I forgive.’”

Ayo also hopes that all broken fences will be mended since Season 80 has already ended. 

“Basketball lang naman ito. Pero ‘yung mga nagtatanim ng sama ng loob that I got the job here, it’s not my fault na nandito ako,” Ayo said. 

He went on to say that he is grateful for the Green Archers for hiring him despite the criticisms that came along with it. 

“Despite na maraming sinasabi sa akin or tine-threaten ‘yung pamilya ko or ano-ano, I forgive you,” said Ayo.

Ayo also acknowledged that his crew did not defend their championship well this season, revealing that they had unresolved problems.

“I want to compete, gusto namin manalo. There were problems na we’re not able to resolve. Pagdating dito sa championship, lumabas,” he said.

But despite of the outcome of his second season, Ayo assured that they will fix their preparations come Season 81 and bounce back from Sunday’s loss. 

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