Ayo clarifies move to La Salle

Bicol Today (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--Letran's championship celebration on Friday night turned emotional when Coach Aldin Ayo officially announced that he will leave the said team for former rival La Salle beginning next year.

Ayo, however, told the Letran community that his decision to accept a reportedly lucrative deal to become the Green Archers' new mentor did not have something to do with the salary he will take nor other factors.

"Next year I will not be around. Ang dahilan, it’s very personal,” Ayo said during the victory party, which also served as the formal banner raising of the Knights' 17th NCAA men's basketball title. He did not disclose the personal reason.

Reports claim that Ayo inked a three-year, PHP 9 million deal to become Juno Sauler's successor in La Salle, which failed to make the UAAP Final Four for the first time in the Jeron Teng era. Some also speculated that the move of Ayo, a councilman in Sorsogon, may have some election-related ties as La Salle's chief backer, Danding Cojuangco, is the president of the Nationalist People's Coalition.

But the now former Knights coach was quick to douse cold water on the said conjectures behind the transfer.

"It’s not about the money... It’s not even politics," Ayo clarified.

Despite his decision to join the Archers' camp, Ayo, himself a former Knights player, reiterated that he is proud to be a Letranite.

Ayo declared, "I will always be a Letranite. I will make Letran proud because I love Letran."

The Green Archers, one of the NCAA's founding members, and the Knights, one of the first expansion teams, were involved in great battles in the past.

But their rivalry reached a boiling point during the 70's, when hooliganism and intense violence marred their games.

The said on-and-off court problems prompted La Salle to leave the NCAA in 1980. The school got accepted to the UAAP in 1986.

Meanwhile, Ayo formally endorsed team consultant Glenn Capacio as the new head coach.

Capacio, who formerly coached alma mater FEU in the UAAP, is expected to mentor Letran in an interim basis in its upcoming PCCL campaign.

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