MANILA, Philippines – The NU Bulldogs put the brakes on the UST Growling Tigers’ three-game winning streak with a 69-61 win in the UAAP men's basketball tournament on Sunday, October 21.
Anlthough NU rookie Troy Rike had one of his best outings yet in the UAAP – dropping 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in a rare start – he was none too pleased with the physicality shown by UST’s young big men, calling them out on allegedly unnecessary knees and elbows.
"You can be physical but don't be sneaky," said Rike. (READ: Troy Rike calls out dirty basketball tactics in UAAP)
When asked about his reaction on Rike’s comments, UST head coach Aldin Ayo came to defend his wards.
“That’s unfair,” he quickly said. “Kasi kami nakaka-receive din kami ng ganyan eh.” (We also receive those hits from their side.)
“Kaya ayoko mag-recruit ng Fil-Am eh. Except for Fil-Ams na kung maglaro parang Pinoy,” he continued after a short pause. “Kaya gusto ko mga Bisaya eh. Gusto ko mga andun sa south eh. From Manila also, yung mga ugaling Pinoy na resilient. Upbringing din yan eh. Depende rin sa kultura yan eh.”
(That’s why I don’t recruit Fil-Ams, except for Fil-Ams who play like Pinoys. That’s why I like people from Visayas and the south [Mindanao]. From Manila too, those who have resilient Pinoy attitudes. It’s all on the upbringing. It really depends on the culture.)
Ayo is currently handling 9 rookies from different parts of the country, led by hotshot budding star CJ Cansino, who grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds with 8 points and 5 assists in the NU loss.
“You just have to toughen it up and for us, we never teach players to be rough,” Ayo added. “Everything that we’re doing is within the bounds of basketball rules, that’s why I think that’s unfair.”
Rike was a graduate of Wake Forest University in the USA and is currently playing a one-and-done season as a Master’s degree student in NU. – Rappler.com