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Coach Aldin Ayo gets emotional over his first-led UST win

By Yann Magcamit

QUEZON CITY--After failing to snatch a victorious first game for the UST Growling Tigers on their first game against the NU Bulldogs, Coach Aldin Ayo finally secured a win for the predominantly rookie-comprised team on their second game against the FEU Tamaraws.

Harking back to UAAP Season 80, it took 14 games before the Tigers had taken hold of victory, placing them on the last place for the season.

The team made a huge change afterward by putting the now-former DLSU Green Archers coach at the helm of their coaching staff for the collegiate league's 81st season.
All eyes were on the Tigers’ first game as people looked out for what Coach Ayo could bring to the team and whether he could bring an immediate win for the Tigers, seeing as his “mayhem” tactics assured DLSU’s spot as the first runner-up for Season 80.

Despite the team seeing defeat against the NU Bulldogs, the Tigers were determined to rise for this season, and so was Ayo.

Thus, Ayo’s glee over the Tigers’ recent victory against the Tamaraws which he expressed in tears of joy was more than understandable. He expressed how the community’s outpouring support since he joined the team had put him in high spirits.

“Deserving ang UST,” he said, pausing to shed his tears and compose himself. “Kasi naramdaman ko si coach Boy (Sablan). Naramdaman ko yung community. They deserve this, kasi grabe yung suporta eh,” he added, mentioning UST’s former head coach Boy Sablan whom he succeeded.
“We’re a very young team–nine rookies; isa lang yung senior namin, and yung mga rookies namin, they’re still adjusting. Actually, yung inaadjust ng mga rookies, hindi lang yung laro eh – pati yung mga venues. May mga rookies na first time makapasok sa Araneta, may mga rookies na first time makapasok sa MOA, so malaking bagay yun kasi nagugulat eh and these rookies are not blue chips na sanay maglaro ng matagal," Ayo also said, recounting how big of a feat this is for this year’s line-up of Tigers.

“I know it’s too early, and di kami makokontento dito,” he assured, and albeit being teary-eyed, his determination to send all the other teams crying home became more apparent than ever.

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