Former UST Growling Tigers head coach Aldin Ayo was tapped to call the shots for the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 team for FIBA tournaments on Monday, November 9.
Ayo, who is still indefinitely banned by the UAAP in the aftermath of the Bicol bubble controversy, will now guide the country’s top-ranked 3×3 players Joshua Munzon (No. 1), Alvin Pasaol (No. 2), Troy Rike (No. 5), and Santi Santillan (No. 6).
“I’m very grateful because, for me, this will bring another dimension to my coaching career,” said Ayo, whose new team will go by the name Manila Chooks for FIBA tournaments.
“Throughout my coaching career, it was the full length of the court, but this time will be different. I can’t wait to try out new schemes for half court.”
The Sorsogon native will take over a successful reign by Eric Altamirano, who resigned last November 1 after helping bring Philippine 3×3 all the way to the Olympic qualifiers.
“Coach Ayo is my personal choice,” said Chooks 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas. “He is the most decorated coach in college right now and we are excited that he is now here with us.”
“Both parties are on good terms. We will still be working with Coach Eric in the future,” added Bounty sports and marketing director Mel Macasaquit.
That will be a reunion of sorts for Ayo and Santillan, who were together in La Salle’s 2017 title and runner-up finish in 2018.
He has also coached against Pasaol, Rike, and Munzon in the UAAP and PBA D-League, and is familiar with what they all can do on the court.
Ayo rose to controversy midway through the pandemic-halted sports calendar after it was discovered that he brought the entire UST Growling Tigers team to his hometown of Capuy, Sorsogon, allegedly for basketball training.
Sorsogon police and Governor Chiz Escudero later cleared Ayo’s name as the 43-year-old coach said he did nothing but conduct farm seminars with the team.
Nevertheless, he was banned indefinitely by the UAAP for “endangering the health and well-being of the student-athletes under his charge,” and no less than 8 players left the team soon afterwards.
Ayo still has pending complaints left with the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Justice for possible quarantine violations. – Rappler.com