Ayo takes House of Chaos to Taft from Intramuros

Aldin Ayo during one of his huddles with the Letran Knights. I File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- The writing was on the wall even before news broke out on Wednesday that newly-minted NCAA champion coach Aldin Ayo is taking his house of chaos to Taft from Intramuros. 

Fr. Vic Calvo, OP, Letran's athletics moderator, told sportswriters during the impromptu victory celebration on the night they brought erstwhile four-peat champion San Beda Red Lions down to their knees that his prized coach is being wooed by the De La Salle Green Archers. 

Pressed for comment, Ayo then dismissed the idea since he's still basking in the glow of an improbable championship run, and the Archers are still fighting for a spot in the Final Four.  

One month later, the news which sportswriters took with a grain of salt at that time, has turned out to be true after all. 

Ayo and Fr. Calvo did not answer when reached by Philstar.com. But a source close to Ayo confirmed that his move to La Salle is already a done deal. 

It was a hard decision but Ayo had his own reasons, a legit one said the source. 

As of this posting, Ayo is in Letran to formally bid goodbye and thank the school officials for the opportunity to coach and win a championship for his alma mater.

For Ayo, an ex-seminarian and a three-term councilor back in his native Sorsogon, it's time to take on a new challenge and chase his dreams.  

Ayo will be bringing in his coaching staff to La Salle except for Glenn Capacio, who might succeed him at Letran. But the source also added that Ayo's former teammate and one of the revered players in Letran basketball history, Kerby Raymundo, has asked for recommendation to take over his reins.

The switch from NCAA to UAAP is a big gamble on Ayo's part. Unlike in his rookie season with the NCAA, he can no longer spring a surprise in the UAAP.

He's no longer a relative unknown.  He's now Aldin Ayo, the man who steered an underrated Letran team against the league's most dominant team in the NCAA in the past two decades. He is the coach whose calling card is playing with an unforgiving pressure defense and squeezing out every ounce of effort from his players. 

As a coach, he likes to gamble. That's why he surrounded himself with experienced coaches in Louie Gonzales, one of his mentors in the Jr. NBA and former UAAP and PBA coach Glen Capacio. 

"Mahilig kasi ako mag-cheat sa depensa. Si coach Louie, sa technical side, siya ang tumatapik sa akin pag nasosobrahan ako sa pag-gamble while si coach Glenn naman ang tumitimon sa amin," said Ayo during their victory celebration in Letran campus.  

So it was not surprising when he gambled on the La Salle offer and go after another challenge that if he successfully hurdle, would only validate him as the top collegiate coach in the country today. 

The stakes are higher with La Salle. The pressure is now there to deliver given his high-profile transfer and with the team stacked with underachieving bunch of talents. 

The UAAP will give him another shot to prove himself once again. 

From being a Jr. NBA coach of the Year to an NCAA champion coach in less than five years is already a big accomplishment.  But adding a UAAP title will further boost his credentials to go after his ultimate dream to coach in the biggest league in the land. 

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