NCAA shuts doors on Ayo

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    ANY chance of Aldin Ayo calling the shots for any team in the NCAA? Forget about it, for now.

    An unimpeachable insider told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday that if and when Ayo opts to coach an NCAA squad or he gets the job, league officials will think twice, even thrice, before giving him the green light.

    “When that situation arises, then the NCAA has to sit down and talk about it seriously and thoroughly kasi hindi biro iyong ginawa niya,” the insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

    “He put the safety and health of his players at risk. They’re student-athletes, meaning, students, first,” the insider added.

    Ayo resigned as Growling Tigers coach last Friday in the face of allegations he violated the government’s stringent COVID-19 health protocols when he brought his team to his hometown in Capuy, Sorsogon City and held a training bubble in mid-June.

    UST accepted the resignation of Ayo and assistant coaches McJour Luib and Jiniño Manansala last Saturday.

    Ayo, 42, was reportedly eyeing a comeback with defending NCAA champion Letran but special assistant to the rector for sports development Alfrancis Chua and athletic director and 96th season Management Committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, OP, said coach Bonnie Tan is here to stay.

    The insider is convinced Ayo has no takers after the Sorsogon bubble fiasco.

    “I don’t think right now may kukuha sa kanya na team,” said the insider. “No one wants that incident to happen. Clearly, violation iyon.”

    A former Letran player in the 1990s relatively unknown in the coaching circles, Ayo led the Knights to a stunning title win over then six-peat-seeking San Beda University in his maiden coaching stint in a major league in the country in 2015.

    With two years remaining in his contract, Ayo left Letran and moved to La Salle for a reported P9 million, three-year pact.

    Ayo guided the Green Archers to a crown in 2016 behind now pro league rising star Jeron Teng of Alaska and former two-time MVP and Cameroonian big man Ben Mbala but moved to UST in 2018 after La Salle lost to archrival Ateneo in their finals rematch in 2017.

    The Tigers finished with a 5-9 record in Ayo’s first year at the helm.

    UST emerged with 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 UP 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.

    UST has lost playmaker Renzo Subido, who was selected 24th overall in the pro league draft last year and was signed by NorthPort, forward Zach Huang, and reserve Enrique Caunan due to graduation.