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MANILA, Philippines – Aldin Ayo’s first season with University Santo Tomas hasn’t even finished yet but the Growling Tigers’ mentor is already looking ahead at Season 82.
“Madami [ang madadala namin next season]. For a start, makakapag-ensayo na kami nang matagal na kumpleto, Siguro we’re going to take a two-week break lang after ng November 14, siguro we’re going to start practicing ng first week ng December,” said Ayo.
“We’re going to start early because iyon ‘yung hindi namin nagawa.”
(We’re going to bring a lot of learnings to the next season. For a start, we’re going to practice longer together. I guess we’re going to take a two-week break after November 14 then start practicing first week of December.)
UST bowed out of Final Four contention in the most unfortunate fashion as super rookie Cj Cansino was injured during a must-win match against University of the Philippines, and the Tigers never recovered from their tough loss.
After further evaluation by the doctors, Cansino was found to have torn his left ACL and will undergo surgery on Thursday.
“He had a good season,” said Ayo about the rookie who will miss the team’s final game against defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles.
“Hopefully he learned a lot and we’ll make sure that he’ll be ready for next year.”
As early as now, Ayo’s schedule is jam-packed with mentoring UST basketball’s team B and visting all the school’s grassroots programs.
Don’t be surprised to see the NCAA and UAAP champion coach sitting with Tiger Cubs coach Bonnie Garcia as Ayo has been tapped as a consultant for UST in the UAAP juniors basketball tournament.
“Na-miss ko kasi magturo sa 12-under, sa 15-under doon kasi ako galing. Nagi-start ako doon, tinuturuan ko ‘yung mga bata,” reminisced Ayo.
(I miss teaching 12-under and 15-under teams because that’s where I came from. I started there by teaching the kids.)
Despite all the setbacks, Ayo is still proud of his Growling Tigers for a good season as they managed to overcome their cellar-dweller standing in the last two seasons. – Rappler.com