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Key to winning: Ayo eases pressure on young UST Tigers

MANILA, Phiippines – After putting a halt to their skid with a convincing 80-66 win over the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, Univeristy of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers head coach Aldin Ayo revealed that he did something different that proved to be beneficial for the young team. 

"If you put too much pressure, sometimes they (the players) break eh," said Ayo about the team that absorbed two consecutive blowout losses.

"What we did after that loss to La Salle, I told the boys: ‘We only have two days to prepare, but tomorrow we’re going to have a break and we’re going to forget basketball first.'"

And a bit of relaxing was what they did. 

According to the Growling Tigers mentor, his players were able to take a trip to the spa and celebrate the birthday of their team manager Chuck Dumlao at a buffet. 

"Our usual regular practice is 4 to 5 hours. [But] yesterday, we practiced for an hour then we sat down to review. In the end, the kids were able to relax. I can say that it was effecitive because the results were good," added Ayo in a mix of English and Filipino. 

But now that the Growling Tigers were able to get their groove back, they will return to regular programming as UST looks to cap off the first round with a win over the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons to improve to a 3-4 slate. 

"Siguro iba [ang preparation for UP] kasi mahirap na puro relaxation," said Ayo. 

(I guess the preparation for UP will be different because it's hard if it's all relaxation.)

"So I told the boys: 'Let's meet halfway, let's moderate things. Every time we moderate things, it becomes balanced.'" 

Veteran Tiger Renzo Subido also felt the effectiveness of Ayo's guidance, especially going into Saturday's game against the Red Warriors. Amidst the painful results of their previous games, the fourth-year guard said that the team remained confident. 

"Coach tells us that we have to do our roles lang inside the court then we have to work as a team, and if we have problems, we just talk about it," shared Subido who waxed hot in the second half to topscore for 22 points. 

The Growling Tigers will clash against the UP Fighting Maroons in their rescheduled game on Wednesday, October 10, 2 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

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.

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