MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University head coach Aldin Ayo kept a low profile following the Green Archers' loss to Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP Season 80 finals last Sunday.
He took some time to clear up some rumors and acknowledge that there were issues plaguing the Green Archers in their title defense. He also sought to make peace with those that criticized him throughout La Salle's campaign.
Since then, however, Ayo has been silent. For one of his former players, it is no surprise that the young coach has opted to stay out of the spotlight.
"Knowing Coach Aldin Ayo, nakikita ko sa kanya, hindi natin nakikita na malungkot 'yan," said Rey Nambatac, who was a key player in the Ayo's Colegio de San Juan de Letran squad that won the NCAA Season 91 title in dramatic fashion.
"Kasi kumbaga, he's a true warrior talaga eh," added Nambatac, who is now a rookie with Rain or Shine. "Kahit na masakit sa kanya, hindi niya pinaparamdam sa ibang tao."
Nambatac believes that right now, Ayo is internalizing the pain that he feels after such a heartbreaking loss, and is using that to fuel him for next year's collegiate season.
"'Yun ang kagandahan sa kanya, kaya siya naging successful, kasi ninanamnam niya 'yung nararamdaman niya na sakit, so pagdating ng next season, talagang doon niya binubuhos 'yung kulang niya ng last season, 'yung sakit na naramdaman niya," said the former Letran guard.
"Ganoon si Coach Aldin eh."
Thus, Nambatac is anticipating that Ayo will have even more tricks up his sleeve come the next collegiate season. "I'm sure talaga, he will bounce back hard next year," he predicted.
"Gagawin niya 'yung best niya talaga para maka-bounce back, kasi Coach Aldin is a true winner talaga. Ayaw na ayaw magpatalo niyan," he added.
Nambatac also noted that La Salle's defeat in the finals simply came down to the "breaks of the game."
"Both teams naman, talagang para sa akin, deserving mag-champion talaga," he said. "Kung pwede lang na dalawa 'yung champion. Pero 'yun nga, sa basketball, kailangan may nananalo, may natalo."
"So 'yun nga, breaks of the game lang. Noong dulo lang, hindi nai-convert ng La Salle ang mga tira nila."
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