Converge head coach Aldin Ayo was seen talking to Abu Tratter personally outside the team’s dugout moments after their narrow 106-100 defeat to Bay Area in 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup action, Friday evening.
Turns out that the young mentor was comforting his long-time player, who lost his father a day prior to their match with the Dragons.
“Kakamatay lang nung daddy ni Abu kahapon,” Ayo disclosed after emerging from the FiberXers’ dressing room at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Ayo feels for Tratter as the four-year pro’s dad was someone who also became dear to him during his time as the chief shot-caller of De La Salle University.
“Nung nag-umpisa ako sa Converge, alam ni Abu ‘yung kundisyon ng mama ko, and ‘yung kundisyon ng daddy niya ganun din, pero mas medyo malala. Napagusapan namin ‘yun and tinutulungan ko si Abu kung paano i-handle,” he shared.
“Kasi close din ako sa papa ni Abu,” said the 44-year-old bench tactician, who won a UAAP gold medal with Tratter back in 2016. “Kasi, when I was in La Salle, yun ang lagi kong kausap e, si Mr. Tratter.
“Palagi kong kausap ‘yun, hinahabilin sa akin si Abu kasi palagi silang wala, palaging nasa States, so nararamdaman ko tong anong meron kay Abu.”
Deep is the bond that Ayo has formed with Tratter, so much so that he’s clearing his schedule for Saturday just so he could be beside the grieving 29-year-old.
“Ang problema rito, mag-isa lang dito si Abu e. Sabi ko sa kanya yung mga kamag-anak niya na nasa Laguna, kung pwede magpasama muna siya.
“Sabi ko naman, tomorrow, I’ll free up my schedule for him na makasama siya. Kasi mahirap sa bata na nawala yung parent mo tapos mag-isa ka lang. Si Abu kasi very close dun sa father niya,” he said.
Asked if Tratter could miss games to fly back home to the States to visit his dad, Ayo said that his player has decided to stay and continue to play on, although the club would allow him to leave for a while should he choose to.
“Tingin ko wala e. Napag-usapan namin,” he said. “Nasa States ‘yung daddy niya, ‘di naman siya makaka-bihaye, sabi ko sa kanya it’s up to you, kung anong gusto mong gawin, sige. Pero decision ni Abu mag-stay dito and maglaro.
“Pero if he decides to pumunta roon, siyempre priority natin dito pamilya e. But it’s up to him. It’s up to him,” Ayo added.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.