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    Aldin Ayo relishes familiar underdog role with Manila Chooks in Doha

    Nov 14, 2020

    NEW frontiers beckon for Aldin Ayo as he gets a fresh start in the halfcourt game as the new coach of Manila Chooks TM for the 2020 Fiba 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters.

    It's a surprising turn of events, but a new lease on life nonetheless, for the beleaguered coach especially after the tumultuous end to his term as the lead mentor of University of Santo Tomas.

    "Things happen for a reason. Right now. I'm blessed na nandito ako sa Chooks-to-Go family na I believe dahil sa mga nangyari, it led me to this," he told Radyo5's Power and Play with Noli Eala on Saturday.

    Truth be told, even Ayo was surprised with the turn of events, with him being approached of the idea on November 3 and the deal being sealed by November 6.

    Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Ronald Mascarinas called Ayo as his "personal choice" in relation to how he was selected when he was introduced last Monday.

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    It's a new challenge for the Sorsogon-born mentor, yet his coaching principles won't change even if it's a different basketball discipline altogether.

    "One thing na nag-fascinate sa akin sa 3x3 is yung wala silang coach, na magre-rely sila sa individual capabilities ng players. Pero ngayon ko nalaman na may coach naman pala," he said.

    "Sa akin, kahit noong nagko-coach ako sa regular 5-on-5 basketball, yun ang goal ko, na you train the team and train them well until you reach the point that your players don't need you anymore. If you reach that point, that means well-trained talaga yung team mo, and it will happen here.

    "You train hard, make sure na maganda yung practice plan, and make sure na ma-absorb ng players yung pinapagawa mo, and when the competition comes, they won't need you anymore. Manonood ka na lang."

    As the case in his past stops, effort isn't just expected but required, and Ayo is stern in telling his new wards what he wants, knowing that Manila Chooks TM is coming in as an underdog in Qatar.

    "Since we're going to compete internationally, nandoon lagi yung sitwasyon na underdog ka, so nasa mindset mo palagi na yung maliit na bagay, yung mga pwede mong gawin na extra na di ginagawa ng teams na malakas, gagawin mo. Since underdog tayo, dapat mas grabe ang effort and mas motivated tayo than the teams na mas malakas sa atin," he said.

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    Manila Chooks TM will be bannered by Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan, and Troy Rike, the core four which ruled the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup in Calamba last month.

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    Sudden as his hiring was, Ayo is just exuding confidence as he trusts the Philippine squad to make an impact in the Doha Masters as they seek to qualify for this season's World Tour Finals in Jeddah.

    "May chance kami as long as maganda ang preparations. Importante ang preparations kasi mas talented ang mga makakalaban natin, so we have to be more ready and more prepared."
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