Ayo not buying Baldwin's 'praise' for Archers

By Denison Rey A. Dalupang


La Salle coach Aldin Ayo | File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Praise? More like “mind games.”

That’s how De La Salle University’s Aldin Ayo viewed the remarks made by his counterpart Tab Balwin shortly after the Blue Eagles clinched the UAAP men’s basketball championship last week.

“He’s playing,” Ayo told reporters. “Ganoon naman palagi eh. Ako naiintinidihan ko naman because he’s just competing.”

“He’s going to say nice things and those are [part of the] preparations for next year,” said the Sorsogon native and former Letran champion coach. “Everything that we say here to all of you, may purpose — and that is to compete.”

The Blue Eagle mentor — who is currently coaching in the amateurs for the second year after a decades-long stint in the pro level — lauded Ayo’s concoction and what has become the Mayhem brand of the Green Archers’ basketball.

“They never take the pressure off. You know, they’re confident in their system — and that comes from Aldin,” the American-Kiwi tactician said. “They believe in their players, they believe in their system and they’re just not gonna take their foot off your throat — for one minute. And I admire that so much.”

Baldwin also noted that Ayo has turned the Green Archers into the standard of UAAP’s basketball that they’ve dedicated the past two years of Blue Eagles’ development tailor-made for just beating the Blue Eagles.

READ: Baldwin keeps his promise, delivers UAAP title for Ateneo

Ayo, for his part, said he had had no qualms over what he deems as a “psy-war” that Baldwin is trying to whip up.

“Kung titignan mo ‘yung motive, he’s just competing. On our part, walang problema. We just want to compete,” Ayo noted.

The second-year De La Salle hoops coach said Baldwin’s subtle jabs — along with many other things —are his motivations going into the next season.

“We want to bounce back next year,” he said. “Pero we have to fix ‘yung approach namin sa preparations namin.”

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