February 18, 2018, 5:51 am
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Ayo gets tour of new UAAP home

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas’ bid to reclaim lost glory has started. 

Aldin Ayo was formally introduced yesterday as the new mentor of UST, marking a fresh start for the Glowing Goldies who are coming off disastrous campaigns in the last two seasons and has not won a UAAP title in 11 years.

Ayo, 40, uploaded on his Facebook account a photo of the UST Tigers logo three days after the school released a statement that confirmed it has hired him to call the shots for the team.

Online sports portal spin.ph said Ayo was spotted being given a tour of UST’s refurbished gym by school officials along with fellow coaches McJour Luib, Rene Bayna and Bonnie Garcia.

Playmaker Renzo Subido, who sat out coach Boy Sablan’s second and final season as Tigers coach last year, was among the first to greet Ayo during the informal rites.

The Espana-based squad last bagged the crown in 2006 behind now pros Jervy Cruz and Dylan Ababou under then rookie coach Pido Jarencio.

UST also reached the Big Dance in 2015 under coach Bong Dela Cruz but lost to Far Eastern University in three games.

In the last two seasons, however, the Tigers went down the abyss with Sablan, compiling a combined 4-24 record.

Marvin Lee, Jordan Sta. Ana, 6-foot-8 Cameroonian import Steve Akomo, and possibly the pair of Subido and Mario Bonleon are expected to lead the Tigers’ charge in the 81st UAAP basketball tournament set to kick off in September.

Ayo, a Sorsogon City native, piloted his alma mater, Letran, to the NCAA title in 2015 against favorite San Beda College. He left the Knights after that and called the shots for the Green Archers, steering the team to victory in 2016.

La Salle, however, was dethroned by arch-rival Ateneo in three games in the finals last season.

UST did not disclose details of Ayo’s contract but The Varsitarian, the school’s official student publication, reported that Ayo signed a six-year contract.
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