Aldin Ayo resigns as UST mentor
By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Aldin Ayo confirmed on Friday night that he has resigned as head coach of the University of Santo Tomas’ (UST) men’s basketball team, which is currently being investigated for a possible violation of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) quarantine protocols.
“I have tendered my resignation as head coach of the UST men’s basketball team,” Ayo said.
The development came while everyone was awaiting the penalties the Growling Tigers would be meted due to the alleged training bubble that took place in Ayo’s hometown of Capuy, Sorsogon.
With amateur teams barred from practicing amid the pandemic, the Growling Tigers may have breached the quarantine rules due to the bubble.
And Ayo is owning up to it.
“I deeply apologize to all those who have been adversely affected by our activity and unnecessarily exposed to much condemnation, especially the university. I take responsibility for my actions and shall face the appropriate sanctions,” he said.
Ayo, nonetheless, thanked the Thomasian community “for their faith and continued support for the team.”
“I ask for prayers that they, as well as I, may be able to recover from these trying times,” he added.
Ayo will be on a “personal retreat” following his resignation.
He joined UST in 2018 and eventually led the team to the finals last year.
However, following the disclosure of the alleged bubble, some of the team’s key players have one by one left the team.
CJ Cansino, the team captain last season, was the first to go but he claimed that he was removed from the Growling Tigers after airing his concerns during the alleged bubble.
Cansino eventually transferred to the University of the Philippines and will play for the Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 84.
Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and Ira Bataller also left UST and are reportedly looking to transfer to Letran.
When initial reports of Ayo’s resignation surfaced on Thursday night, reports also emerged that Ayo could make a return to his alma mater for a second tour of duty as head coach.
A prevalent rumor is that Ayo may switch places with current Knights coach Bonnie Tan, which could mean Tan, a UST alumnus, may find himself coaching his alma mater.
However, Alfrancis Chua, Letran’s special assistant to the rector for sports development, debunked the homecoming rumor.
“Not under my umbrella. No way!” Chua said Friday. “Baka sa ibang Letran papunta coach nila. Iisa lang Letran ang alam ko at ang coach doon si Bonnie Tan (Maybe their coach will go to a different Letran. I only know one Letran, and the coach there is Bonnie Tan).”
Ayo played for Letran from 1998 to 2001, winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships in his first two years.
He became known for scoring the game-winning basket for the Knights in Game 1 of the 1999 finals against the JRU Heavy Bombers.
After spending time coaching in Sorsogon, Ayo found himself returning to Letran as head coach in 2015. He led the team to the NCAA title that season. (PNA)