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From NCAA to UAAP and now PBA: Jamike Jarin, Aldin Ayo face off once more

Phoenix Super LPG head coach Jamike Jarin felt glad to cross paths anew with an old foe in their PBA Governors’ Cup clash versus Converge, Sunday.

The Fuel Masters’ interim mentor saw himself in another strategic battle vis-a-vis against FiberXers chief shot-caller Aldin Ayo, whom he knows extremely well given their numerous matches in the collegiate scene years ago.

“It’s just fun if you look back,” said Jarin, who was a deputy to Topex Robinson when they first battled Ayo and Co. back in the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup last November.

“We’ve been coaching against each other for the longest time.”

The two first went up against one another back in NCAA Season 91 eight years ago. Jarin, formerly of Ateneo High School, was in his first year at the helm of San Beda, who was, at that time, bent on winning its sixth consecutive title.

The Red Lions reached the Finals, only to end up heartbroken when a rookie coach Ayo led Letran to the top to end the Knights’ 10-year drought.

Jarin would find redemption by winning the crown the following season, but never had the opportunity to exact vengeance against the former cager turned mentor, as the latter took over De La Salle’s coaching reins.2016-collegiate-awards-jamike-jarin-x-aldin-ayo From NCAA to UAAP and now PBA: Jamike Jarin, Aldin Ayo face off once more Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Ayo would weave his magic by steering the Green Archers to the UAAP Season 79 gold medal at the expense of the Blue Eagles, becoming the only coach to win a UAAP and an NCAA championship in back-to-back fashion.

But the next three seasons would see Ayo and Jarin meet each other again. While the former was in his second year at DLSU, the latter would find his way back to the UAAP when he was named coach of National University.

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Their battles would continue until their final season in the UAAP. Season 82, to be exact, where Ayo was already with UST while Jarin stayed in NU.

Jarin would not be renewed by NU in 2019 while Ayo was removed from his post at UST in August 2020.

Years later, they would cross paths again in the big league, and Sunday night marked their first PBA duel as heads of their respective teams.

And Jarin would get this one as the Fuel Masters stormed back from 12 down and left the SMART Araneta Coliseum with the 106-103 win in the bag.

The veteran coach was glad to have won as it improved their standing to 3-5, but only has nothing but respect for his on-court nemesis.

“I’m just so happy that we were able to get the win. Coaching against him and really watching him, it was really good. And familiarity, not only me, but of course, also with him,” he said.

“It was a good chess match.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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