Listen to Ayo: Test of character, test of fate

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    THE controversial and ill-fated Sorsogon bubble proved to be the fall from grace of former University of Santo Tomas coach Aldin Ayo.

    “Binuo namin iyong team na iyon and we sacrificed a lot, maraming nag-invest sa mga players. Pero things happened. Wala ka namang masisisi,” Ayo said on Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s Power and Play program hosted by former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.

    “It was very unfortunate for us,” he added.

    Ayo allegedly violated the government’s stringent health protocols by bringing the Growling Tigers to Sorsogon City for team practice amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

    That bubble training from mid-June to August tore a UST five that wound up with a an 8-6 card after the elimination round in the last UAAP cage wars for fourth and hurdled No. 3 Far Eastern University and second-ranked and twice-to-beat University of the Philippines in the stepladder semifinals to reach the finals for the first time since 2015.

    The Tigers, however, were swept by Ateneo in the Big Dance.

    Ayo, who was named to call the shots for the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 team last Nov. 9, is still hoping to get a second chance and coach in the UAAP anew.

    “Iyong mga nangyari, it was a test of character, test of fate, and susubukan talaga iyong pagkatao mo. Naisip ko during that time na the best way to overcome it is gawin mo iyong tama,” he said.

    “I believe I was able to do the right things. Iyong mga statement ko were formal, I did not engage sa social media kasi if I did, parang lalangoy ka against the current and you can’t really win, so you just accept it with all humility and basta tama ang ginagawa mo, tama rin ang magiging resulta.”

    Former captain CJ Cansino and former Tiger Cubs star slotman Bismarck Lina moved to the Fighting Maroons; high-flying forward Rhenz Abando, guard Brent Paraiso, and big man Ira Bataller to defending NCAA champion Letran; reigning Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy and guard Deo Cuajao to La Salle; and backup guard Jun Asuncion to Mapua University.

    Ayo resigned last Sept. 4, five days before the UAAP Board of Trustees suspended him indefinitely.