MANILA, Philippines – It will be a juggling act for University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Aldin Ayo this season.
As Ayo tries to lead the Tigers back to UAAP glory, he’s also taking a new challenge in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
The champion UAAP and NCAA mentor recently took over as head coach of the Muntinlupa City Cagers, but Ayo said he got the go-signal from UST and assured that he’s givng both teams equal attention.
"Before I committed to Muntinlupa, I asked for permission from the managers, especially from Fr Jannel [Abogado, UST athletics director]. They know that my schedule can accommodate it. I’m used to this," said Ayo after the Tigers bowed to the undefeated Adamson Soaring Falcons.
Ayo is no stranger to heavy workloads as he also continues to serve as city councilor of Sorsogon where he won three straight terms since 2010. He admitted that his schedule back home is a lot worse as he would work 12 to 14 hours everyday.
But Ayo said he doesn't mind taking another role in the MPBL since it's a fresh challenge.
"Remember what I told you when I left La Salle, about personal growth? Eto ‘yun," added Ayo.
"Kung marami kang cino-coach na ganito, you learn eh. Ngayon actually kahit busy, kahit maraming ginagawa, I’m excited kasi natututo ako sa mga players kasi ibang level ‘yun eh [MPBL]"
(If you're coaching a lot of good teams, you learn. Even though it gets busy, and even if there's a lot to do, I'm excited because the players are in a different level in the MPBL.)
In the home-and-away league, Ayo will even get to face his UST deputy Randy Alcantara, who also calls the shots for the San Juan Knights.
Both Muntinlupa and San Juan currently lead the standings in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Anta-Datu Cup.
"Napag-uusapan din namin, pero very professional naman (We talked about it and we're very professional about it). Of course, we’re going to compete with each other and if it happens, for sure we’ll bring out the best," said Ayo.
The newly appointed Muntilupa head coach will debut on Thursday, September 27, against the Basilan Steel, before facing UAAP defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles on Saturday, September 29, 4pm at the Filoil Flying V Centre. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.