UST officially welcomes Ayo as Tigers head coach

Delfin Dioquino
UST officially welcomes Ayo as Tigers head coach
UST cites Ayo's emphasis on prioritizing a student-athlete balance and approval of the university's 'modest salary' as reasons for hiring him

MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas officially welcomed Aldin Ayo as their new head coach for the embattled Growling Tigers.

In a statement released early Monday, January 8, UST confirmed that Ayo, who steered Colegio de San Juan de Letran and De La Salle University to NCAA and UAAP championships in back-to-back years, will be replacing former head coach Boy Sablan.



The announcement came a few weeks after Ayo was included in rumors regarding the Tigers’ head coaching post, which was vacated by Sablan following two dismal seasons at the helm.

UST explained that Ayo’s appointment was based on two key reasons: his ability to put emphasis on athletes’ academics as well as athletics, and his approval of the university’s “modest salary.”

“The basketball program that he espouses is based on discipline that gives primary importance to the academic life of student-athletes, believing that athletes who are hardworking in their studies are likewise those who are able to handle themselves well properly, both on and off the court,” the statement read.

“Coach Ayo is a well-accomplished coach who is likewise more than willing to accommodate the university’s modest salary scheme, thus demonstrating his desire to provide proper guidance to his players in this educative process outweighs all else.”

Ayo, who fell short of winning his third straight collegiate title in 3 years after La Salle lost Game 3 of the UAAP finals to Ateneo de Manila University last month, will be facing a tall order of bringing UST, which finished last season with a 1-13 record, its first title since 2006.

The Tigers will be spearheaded by holdovers Steve Akomo, Marvin Lee and Jordan Sta. Ana. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.