Coaching friends 'duel' in UST-DLSU
(The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After devising ways to destroy the opposition together, long-time colleagues and pals Aldin Ayo and Louie Gonzalez now plot against each other at the helm of Santo Tomas and La Salle, respectively.

Ayo and Gonzalez, who joined forces in previous championship runs of Letran in the NCAA and La Salle in the UAAP, have gone their separate ways as the former bolted the Archers’ camp after last season to join the rebuilding Tigers while his assistant stayed in Taft and got the head coaching position.

Today, the inevitable in the UAAP Season 81 men’s hoops wars happens as Ayo and Gonzalez stand on opposite ends in an explosive UST-versus-DLSU showdown the duo wouldn’t want to get overshadowed by the hype of their first face-off.

"Well, it's just a regular game," Ayo said of the 2 p.m. encounter at the Mall of Asia Arena.

"I know it's going to be competitive. Basta ibibigay namin ang best namin," said Gonzalez.

Far Eastern (2-2) and National U (1-3), meanwhile, take the court at 4 p.m., similarly out to get back on track after horrible setbacks to University of the East (65-90) and Ateneo (46-72) respectively.      

Ayo and Gonzalez seem to be on the same wavelength as they actually used the same words to describe this matchup.

"First time ko siya makikita nang personal uli so that will be interesting," said Ayo.

"It's gonna be a game of adjustments. It will be interesting," said Gonzalez.

With or without the perceived personal stake for the opposing coaches, both UST (1-3) and DLSU (2-2) need this game to boost their stock in the tourney where only pacesetting Adamson (5-0) and defending champion Ateneo (4-1) were consistently solid so far.

Ayo and the Tigers took a huge hit after their horrendous 32-point blowout at the hands of Ateneo while the  Archers (2-2) reel from their 61-67 defeat to University of the Philippines.

"You have to take that as a man," stressed Ayo, who maintained a positive outlook for his young wards. "Even though it's a 32-point loss, this won't make us a lesser team. We just did a few things that were not right. That's basketball. When you do someting wrong it can really doom you; if you do the right things, you might just win even if chances were slim."

"We're going to learn from this," Gonzalez said after losing to UP. " As long as we stick to the system, we'll be fine."

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