NBA
Aldin Ayo gains respect for perfect start
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - July 24, 2015 - 10:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Aldin Ayo came to Letran early this year as a virtual unknown. He made a grand introduction of himself by steering the underdog Knights to heights no one, not even themselves, could have imagined.

Letran pulled the rug from practically everybody by zooming to the top with just almost a month and five games into the 91st NCAA basketball season, beating heavily fancied teams San Beda, Jose Rizal and Perpetual Help along the way.

And Ayo was in the heart of it.

"We were challenged because no one gave us a chance," said Ayo, whose Knights are currently leading the way with a pristine 5-0 (win-loss) record, their best start since going 7-0 two years ago.

"We used those negative write ups as motivation and we worked and trained really hard to prove them wrong," he added.

Ayo's early coaching experience can be rooted back in his home province in Sorsogon before finding his way to coaching in the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA before he made it into the KIA coaching staff in the PBA.

He eventually gave it up when he was given the opportunity to coach Letran, a school he played for and won two championships in 1998 under Louie Alas and the next year under Binky Favis with former pros Kerby Raymundo and Christian Calaguio.

Alas, who is now with Alaska working side-by-side with headcoach Alex Compton, remembered Ayo as one of his best wing defenders.

"He (Ayo) plays like Luib," said Alas referring to McJour Luib, who is one of the best perimeter defender in the NCAA today.

Ayo's ticket to spotlight is teaching his Knights to play relentless lockdown defense and blinding speed.

"We encourage disorder and chaos in each and every play. We don't want them to get the chance to set up and we want to run at every chance," said Ayo.

Truly, the Knights' defense has been doing wonders for them as they hold down their foes to just 68.40 points a game, second only to Jose Rizal's 67.40 points allowed.

Letran also leads the league in holding down its opponents in three-pointers made (4.00), steals (10.80) and forcing turnovers (28.40) that translates to majority of its total scoring production.

It helped that Ayo is gifted with the talented Mark Cruz, Rey Nambatac and Kevin Racal, the league's best guard trio to make up for its lack of height and foreign reinforcements that most of the other teams enhjoy.

Ayo, however, stressed nothing has changed and considers themselves as the underdogs.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet. We're still the underdogs. We can't relax. We have to continue to play with desperation," said Ayo.

Whatever happens, Ayo sure made notice and got everybody's attention.

And the respect too.

ALDIN AYO ALEX COMPTON AYO BINKY FAVIS JOSE RIZAL JOSE RIZAL AND PERPETUAL HELP KERBY RAYMUNDO AND CHRISTIAN CALAGUIO LETRAN LOUIE ALAS LUIB QUOT
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with