ALDIN Ayo denied a reported trade between Converge and NorthPort that centered around his former player at Letran, Jerrick Balanza.
The 44-year-old Ayo said it was not true that the FiberXers are willing to let go of the duo of Allyn Bulanadi and Tyrus Hill in order to get the services of Balanza and Kevin Ferrer from the Batang Pier.
READ: Pido insists trade talk not a distraction for Balanza, Ferrer
Balanza played for Ayo during the coach’s lone season at Letran, where they won the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball championship.
SPIN.ph learned from sources though, that NorthPort appeared reluctant to let go of Balanza, who has been a major part of coach Pido Jarencio’s rotation for the second straight season now.
But Ayo denied there was such a trade discussed in the first place.
“Hindi totoo yun. Ewan ko kung bakit may balitang ganun, e naaapektuhan sila Tyrus and si Allyn,” said the Converge coach Friday night shortly after the FiberXers’ rally against Bay Area Dragons fell just short at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, 106-100.
“Pero I told them naman na huwag magpa-apekto sa mga ganyang distraction.”
Bulanadi took Ayo’s words to heart as he scored 11 points against the Dragons, while Hill finished scoreless in a three-minute stint.
“Buti nga si Allyn kanina na-shrug off niya na yung mga distraction na ganyan. Nakapag-laro na siya ng maayos,” said Ayo.
Just before the start of the mid-season conference, Converge completed a trade with Phoenix in which it acquired guard Aljun Melecio and Kris Porter for the duo of Ben Adamos and Kurt Lojera.
Melecio was also a former player of Ayo in college, together winning a UAAP title at De La Salle in 2016.
Ayo said the plan at the moment is to further develop the growth and maturity of his young team.
“We really have to work on them at dapat trabahuhin namin,” said the champion coach.