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Aldin Ayo sees one constant in Letran: ‘Nandoon pa rin yung Arriba’

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Tiebreaker Times Aldin Ayo sees one constant in Letran: 'Nandoon pa rin yung Arriba' Basketball CSJL NCAA News  NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 95 Letran Seniors Basketball Aldin Ayo

For the first time in three years, Aldin Ayo was on the stands to watch the Letran Knights.

But he was not alone.

Kevin Racal organized a mini-reunion with the championship core of the NCAA Season 91 championship squad. Those who arrived were Ayo, Racal, Mark Cruz, Rey Nambatac, McJour Luib, Bong Quinto, and JP Calvo.

And Ayo could not help but see a lot of difference from his squad compared to Bonnie Tan’s team.

“Iba na ang mga players. Except for Jerrick [Balanza], Jeo [Ambohot], kina [Ato] Ular, King, [Caralipio], iba na eh.

“Iba na rin yung sistema,” shared Ayo, whose Mayhem system steered the Knights past the San Beda Red Lions in an epic three-game series.

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Though the faces have changed, the now-UST Growling Tigers head coach sees one thing in common among all batches of the Knights.

“Pero if there’s one thing that is constant, yung community. Nandoon yung suporta, nandoon yung Arriba.”

In the NCAA’s first game in the Cuneta Astrodome in 10 years, the Letranites packed one half of the venue. And the crowd almost willed the Knights to a huge come-from-behind win against the Red Lions, falling short by just four, 66-70.

Ayo was not surprised with the maturity Jerrick Balanza has been showing for the Knights. But what surprised him was how Ular only made the lineup this season.Tiebreaker Times Aldin Ayo sees one constant in Letran: 'Nandoon pa rin yung Arriba' Basketball CSJL NCAA News  NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 95 Letran Seniors Basketball Aldin Ayo

“Nagtaka kami kung bakit hindi nakapaglaro in the past two or three seasons eh,” Ayo remarked about the athletic 6-foot-4 forward. “That guy deserves to play. Kinailangan niyang iprove ang laro niya sa ibang liga para mapunta sa NCAA, pero right from the start, we know that he deserves to play.

“Good thing for him na naglalaro na siya ngayon and good thing he’s playing well.”

It has been four years since Letran last tasted gold. And Ayo is hoping that the community gets to experience that feeling once again.Tiebreaker Times Aldin Ayo sees one constant in Letran: 'Nandoon pa rin yung Arriba' Basketball CSJL NCAA News  NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 95 Letran Seniors Basketball Aldin Ayo

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“Of course, masarap sa pakiramdam na babalik ka sa ganitong laro. Before ka umalis, you were successful. The players, sila K-Racs, sila Mark, sila Rey, sila Bong, JP, Mcjour, they take pride on that, that we’re able to accomplish that,” he reflected.

“Siyempre, we are hoping na maulit, that’s why we’re here to support them.”

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