MANILA, Philippines – Aldin Ayo's confirmation Wednesday, January 3, that he is stepping down as the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers' head coach further fueled speculation on who will become the Archers' next head coach.
Speculations of Ayo's exit already began while the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament was still ongoing. This was then punctuated by the reports that came out Wednesday, December 27, of University of Santo Tomas (UST) being 'in talks' with Ayo to be the new head coach of the rebuilding Growling Tigers. (READ: UST 'in talks' to bring in DLSU’s Aldin Ayo as head coach - reports)
A week prior to the unconfirmed reports, DLSU released an official statement saying that the management "is behind Coach Aldin Ayo and his staff" in their Season 81 campaign which has now been countered by Ayo confirming that he is leaving the Taft-based school.
There is no confirmation yet of Ayo's next coaching stint, but a source from UST said that the rumors will only be proven true on Thursday, January 4, 2018, if the former Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights champion coach will report to the Growling Tigers on that day.
Back in Taft, the decision on a new DLSU head coach is leaning towards the appointment of Ayo's assistant coach Louie Gonzales as a result of the meeting with DLSU sponsor Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., as reported by the website Archers' Clubhouse. Glenn Capacio will reportedly also remain with DLSU as an assistant coach to Gonzales.
Rappler has reached out to DLSU regarding the matter but the school advised to wait for an official announcement coming from the university administration.
Gonzales has served under Ayo as an assistant coach, beginning when the latter steered the Letran Knights to a breakthrough 2015 NCAA championship up until UAAP Season 80 which saw the end his two-year stint with DLSU.
Both Letran alumni go way back, as Gonzales was one of the assistant coaches of Ayo in the 1999 Letran Knights team. Ayo even hit a game-winner in the opening game of the best-of-3 final series against Jose Rizal University and the team eventually took the NCAA crown that year.
In Season 79, Gonzales took over the head coaching duties for Ayo in the first round meeting with the Ateneo Blue Eagles that saw the then-undefeated Green Archers trounce the Blue Eagles 97-81. Ayo was suspended at that time after getting ejected, when he tried to put on glasses on the referee during DLSU's first round meeting with the University of the East Red Warriors. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.