PBA trade

Mike Nieto excited to play under Converge coach Aldin Ayo

Philip Matel

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Mike Nieto excited to play under Converge coach Aldin Ayo

ON THE MOVE. Mike Nieto brings his talent from Rain or Shine to Converge.


Mike Nieto looks forward to playing under Aldin Ayo as his former Ateneo mentor Tab Baldwin ‘always has high praises’ for the Converge coach

MANILA, Philippines – Converge FiberXers’ newly acquired swingman Mike Nieto looks forward to play under a coach who used to be on the opposite side of many battles that defined his UAAP men’s basketball career.

Nieto, who played under coach Tab Baldwin with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, hopes to prove his worth once again, this time under Aldin Ayo.

Ayo, now calling the shots for Converge, faced Baldwin in the collegiate championship series thrice when he was mentoring in the UAAP.

Nieto, along with twin Matt, won three consecutive titles under Baldwin, twice at the expense of Ayo, who coached La Salle from 2016-2017, and UST in the UAAP from 2018-2020.

“Ever since college, I always faced coach Aldin Ayo, but now, being given a chance to be a student of the game under him, I’m really excited to learn since coach Tab Baldwin always has high praises for coach Aldin,” Nieto told Rappler in a phone interview.

“For me, [Ayo is] one of the best coaches in the Philippines, so I’m really excited to learn a lot from him,” he added.

Nieto was acquired by Converge from Rain or Shine in a trade approved by the PBA on Monday, May 8, in exchange for two future second-round picks.

In a message to Rappler on Monday, May 9, Ayo called Nieto as a player who is “high in character, fundamentally sound, has high basketball IQ and a championship pedigree.”

During his most recent season with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Nieto blossomed in the Philippine Cup, under the egalitarian offense of returning head coach Yeng Guiao.

Nieto posted season-high averages in points (11.7), rebounds, (4.3), and assists (2.3) in 10 appearances, 5 of which as a starter.

However, his statistics dwindled in the ensuing import-flavored conferences, seeing his averages dip to 9.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 1.4 apg in the Commissioner’s Cup, where they ended up as the eighth seed.

The team was quickly ousted in the quarterfinals by guest team Bay Area Dragons.

The figures were even lower in the Governors’ Cup, with his averages going down to 4.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, and 1.2 apg as the Elasto Painters missed the playoffs entirely at 10th with a 2-9 record.

From teammate to boss

Nieto will also be reuniting with an old collegiate friend, Jacob Lao, who will become his boss at the FiberXers.

At 23 years old, Lao became the youngest team manager in PBA history, and was the one who called Nieto to break the news of the trade approval on Monday.

“When we were in college, we were in the team, but he wasn’t lined up yet, but he already helped us, that’s why me and Matt became close with Jacob,” shared Nieto.

“I was saddened that I left Rain or Shine since they gave me the confidence that I could play in the PBA, but I am really close with Jacob and [his dad] Frank, and told them they will not regret the trade.”

Nieto believes he brings a two-way presence that is vital for Ayo’s quirky setup on both ends of the the floor.

The former Gilas member already joined the team upon learning of the trade approval on Monday, and practiced with them on Tuesday. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI