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    June Mar Fajardo Japeth Aguilar Mark Barroca Chris Newsome
    Here are four of Aldin Ayo's PBA dream team.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    ALDIN Ayo has yet to engage in trade talks as the new Converge coach, living and dying with the current composition of the young and athletic FiberXers for now.

    “In terms of (trading) players, hindi pa namin napag-usapan kasi ang objective namin is to maximize what we have, kasi puro ‘to bata,” Ayo said on SPIN Zoom In. “So kung anong meron dito, yun na muna tatrabahuhin namin.”

    “And hopefully mag-improve ang mga ‘to, maka-adapt dun sa sistema, and makatulong. Pero in terms of movements of the players, wala pa.”

    But one can dream and reach for the stars, right?

    Asked by a fan who his dream PBA players for each position are, Ayo gamely answered and gave a mix of traditional and unexpected answers. There was one position, though, he had a hard time choosing a player.

    Aldin Ayo on dream PBA Five

    SMB's June Mar Fajardo powers his way for two points against a Meralco double-team.

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    June Mar Fajardo

    If Ayo would trade for one player, it’s a no-brainer who that would be.

    “Si June Mar kung pwede,” he said with a smile of the six-time PBA MVP, who’s back to tip-top shape and is four wins away from leading San Miguel to another all-Filipino title.

    Japeth Aguilar

    The Barangay Ginebra star power forward is next on Ayo’s list. Aguilar is no spring chicken at 35, but he still possesses the length, athleticism, and experience to make it to the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

    The 6-foot-9 Aguilar led the Gin Kings in scoring in the eliminations at 16.7 points on top of 8.4 boards, 2.6 blocks, and 1.1 assists in 30.1 minutes.

    Mark Barroca Chris Newsome Magnolia vs Meralco Game 4


    Mark Barroca

    While others would go for more popular picks, Ayo chose a point guard that is known for his suffocating defense.

    Magnolia playmaker and two-time All-Defensive Team member Mark Barroca certainly fits Ayo’s Ayo’s renowned system.

    Barroca also knows a thing or two about offense.

    After all, in six games in the semifinals against TNT, Barroca was the Chicken Timplados’ third-leading scorer with 12.8 points on 44.4-percent shooting on top of 4.3 boards, 4.2 assists, and 1.7 steals.

    Chris Newsome

    The Filipino-American guard-forward has long been Meralco’s best player. He proved it once again in the PBA Philippine Cup. Entering Game Seven of the semifinals against San Miguel, Newsome had averaged 15 points, 1.7 triples, six rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 0.7 steal against 3.7 turnovers in 33 minutes in the series.

    And he finally gets to test his wares in the international 5-on-5 scene as part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the August window of the Fiba World Cup qualifiers.



      Small forward?

      This was where it got tricky for Ayo.

      “Yung tres ang medyo naguguluhan ako, kasi madaming magaling eh. Pero yung apat lang muna siguro.”

      Pressed to give at least a shortlist of small forward choices, Ayo rattled off two sentimental picks in his former college standouts, the FiberXers’ own Jeron Teng and Bolts rising star Bong Quinto.

      “Of course nandun si JT. Recently, si Bong. Maganda kasi yung mga tres yung mga bruiser eh. Eh puro bruiser yun. Pero madami pa na pwede.”

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      Here are four of Aldin Ayo's PBA dream team.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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