MANILA, Philippines – UST coach Aldin Ayo found no answer when the defending UAAP champion Ateneo Blue Eagles destroyed his Growling Tigers by 32 points, 85-53, on Saturday, September 29.
Ayo – who transferred to UST from La Salle in the off-season – simply didn’t have enough tools to bring down the mammoth that is Ateneo, and as a result, suffered the worst beating of his coaching career.
“You have to take that as a man,” said Ayo, who won a UAAP championship with La Salle and an NCAA crown with Letran.
“It’s just how it is. Every time you experience [something] like this you become sensitive and you see things that you just have to accept.”
Ayo has only lost by double-digits once in the UAAP prior to this game: a 12-point loss against Ateneo, 71-83, in the second round of Season 79.
But La Salle went on to clinch the title that year, also against the Blue Eagles in perhaps a perfect comeback statement.
Ayo fared even better as a one-and-done coach of the Letran Knights the year before, where his worst game was a seven-point loss, 61-68, in Game 2 of the NCAA Season 91 Finals against then six-peat aspirants San Beda Red Lions. He then also responded big time as the Knights bagged the NCAA crown after edging San Beda in a winner-take-all Game 3, 85-82.
The Knights did lose against the EAC Generals that season by 14, 69-83, but Ayo was serving a one-game suspension at that time.
Simply put, the “Master of Mayhem” just doesn’t lose like what happened on Saturday night. But he knows it’s a process.
With 9 rookies getting regular minutes in the UST roster, there’s only so much a coach can do, even if it’s a proven champion like Aldin Ayo. – Rappler.com