MANILA -- Reports linking De La Salle University men’s basketball coach Aldin Ayo to a move to University of Santo Tomas escalated Wednesday, as he has apparently advised officials at the Taft school that he will not return.
According to ABS-CBN Sports, citing unnamed sources, Ayo is keen to bring Green Archers players to UST to help beef up a team that won only a game in the recently concluded UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament.
The same story said that Ayo has talked to at least two La Salle players about transferring with him.
Aljun Melecio took to Twitter to clarify he is not leaving La Salle after he tweeted tiger emoticons earlier in the day, a post that has since been deleted.
Despite no official confirmation of Ayo's departure from the school, Melecio wished Ayo the best.
Speculation over Ayo’s status at La Salle had been simmering for weeks, but the Tiebreaker Times reported on Wednesday, also quoting unnamed sources, that Ayo, who had intended to stay on as Green Archers coach, had “a change of heart” Tuesday.
ABS-CBN News sought La Salle’s side on the issue, but one school official said nothing was confirmed.
Ayo has repeatedly said in public that he doesn’t want to comment on the matter.
One report has stated that San Miguel Corp. chairman Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, the Green Archers’ top benefactor, will speak with Ayo.
Ayo is purportedly in his home province of Sorsogon and won't return to Manila until January 5.
Should Ayo move to España, Louie Gonzales will take over as head coach in an interim capacity, according to ABS-CBN Sports.
Spin.ph is reporting that Barangay Ginebra assistant coach Richard del Rosario is in line replace Ayo permanently.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.