Aldin Ayo says loss to JRU an eye-opener as young La Salle core adjusts to bigger roles
Aldin Ayo says his young La Salle core will eventually adjust to taking lead roles in the team. Dante Peralta

LA SALLE coach Aldin Ayo admitted their 85-81 loss to Jose Rizal University in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup opener on Monday was a reality check for the defending champion. 

Still, Ayo was hardly concerned, saying he expects some struggle as his young wards adjusts to life without Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, and Thomas Torres. 

"Some of the players are still adjusting. They have bigger roles right now, they are still adjusting," said Ayo in the aftermath of the loss at the Filoil Flying V Centre. 

"Reality check sa kung nasaan pa lang kami ngayon. Right now I can assess the team na nasa below 50 percent pa lang kami," he added. 

[See JRU stuns La Salle in Premier Cup opener]

Parading a young lineup led by fourth year guard Kib Montalbo, Ayo rued his players' poor decision-making especially down the stretch. 

The Archers closed in after being down by as much as nine points, 83-81, but wasted several chances to at least tie the count in the dying seconds by rushing their shots. 

"We were one or two possessions away from winning the game. The thing is, yung decision-making ng mga guards namin doon sa endgame, yun ang nami-miss namin," he said.

La Salle is indeed far from its old deadly form that allowed it to sweep the league last year but Ayo is confident his team will hit its stride eventually. 

"We're still optimistic na mag-mature ang mga bata. Kaya marami kaming sinalihang liga eh, kulang kami sa laro," he said. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros