Aldin Ayo asks, Aldin Ayo gets
After leaving the Dominican order-ran Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights back in 2015, one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion head coach Aldin Ayo is set to return to his roots with the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers on Thursday, January 11.
The news of Ayo’s departure from La Salle and move to UST was first reported by Tiebreaker Times last December 27 while the date of Ayo’s announcement was published by the official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas, the Varsitarian.
Besides the announcement of when the move will be official, Ayo was tapped by UST for the next six years. The absence of a physical contract was one of the qualms of the 40-year-old tactician before leaving La Salle, according to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation.
“I just want to clarify to you guys, yung time na I went from Letran to La Salle, nabo-bother ako because of the messages I’ve been receiving about dun sa kontrata ko sa La Salle na nine million for three years,” Ayo disclosed during his exit interview.
“If he can produce a contract na ganun, gusto kong makita. I just signed a contract sa La Salle last September that will expire this December. Wala akong kontrata na nine million tapos three years. Lumalabas na ginagawa natin ‘to dahil sa pera,” the embattled mentor added. “I’m doing this because I love basketball, this opportunity and I just want to win. I have enough, simple lang yung lifestyle ko.
“Yung four months, just for La Salle pero yung mga — don’t misinterpret this ah, kasi may agreement kami e. Okay nga lang sa akin ang walang kontrata. I trust the bosses.”
Green Archers booster Eduardo Cojuangco was ready to give him a four-year extension but Ayo had already had his mind set to make the move and accept a new challenge, the source added.
“Boss was ready to offer him a long contract. Who would not want to have a champion head coach back?” the team official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Tiebreaker Times.
Ultimately, the move of the Green Archers’ management proved to be too late.
Ayo ended his two-year stay with the Green Archers with a 30-5 record, including a 5-2 post-season slate. He helped steer La Salle to the top of the collegiate world back in UAAP Season 79 while following it up with a silver finish a year later.
The Growling Tigers, on the other hand, are coming off their worst-ever season, having finished with a 1-13 record. Only Jeepy Faundo graduated from the team, while Renzo Subido and Embons Bonleon are set to return after a year of absence.
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