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    Victolero on PBA rookie coach Ayo: 'Dapat matagal na siyang nandito'

    Oct 1, 2022
    Aldin Ayo Magnolia vs Converge
    Chito Victolero is glad to see former fellow KIA deputy coach Aldin Ayo finally coaching in the PBA.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    CHITO Victolero believes Aldin Ayo should have been coaching in the PBA for a long time already.

    “Dapat matagal na siyang nandito, e,” said Victolero of Ayo, a fellow former coaching staff with the KIA franchise in the past. “Siguro gusto niya lang ma-experience yung college pa.”

    Seven years after parting ways, the two coaches finally got to meet each other when Magnolia battled Converge in the main game of Saturday’s Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Victolero and the Hotshots emerged triumphant, 109-105, but not after battling back from a 14-point deficit early in the fourth period.

    See: Rakocevic atones for early woes to lift Magnolia past Converge

    For someone who worked with Ayo for a season in the early days of what is now the Terrafirma Dyip, Victolero expected a FiberXers side that plays good defense and relies on the transition to become very competitive.

    The Magnolia mentor referred to himself as an "Ayo fan."

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    “Yung kanyang talent, yung kanyang mga ideas, yung pagiging smart niya sa coaching, marami kang matututunan sa kanya,” said Victolero, whose team notched a second straight win.

    “It’s a challenge for everyone, yung sa mga young coaches like us na at least kahit paano, nakaka-penetrate kami dito sa PBA.”

    Ayo worked as video coordinator of KIA back then when Victolero served as chief deputy of head coach Manny Pacquiao.

    But the 44-year-old coach from Sorsogon would leave the PBA in 2015 after accepting the head coaching job at Letran, which he later steered to the NCAA men’s basketball championship that same season.

    Ayo later transferred to De La Salle and similarly won a title in the 2016 UAAP season, before taking his act to University of Santo Tomas and led the school to the Finals in 2019.

    Victolero on the other hand, became head coach of Magnolia in 2017 and guided the franchise to the 2018 Governors' Cup crown.

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    Incidentally, another part of that KIA coaching staff who later became head coach in the league was Chris Gavina at Rain or Shine.

    “I’m very happy. At least magkaka-kilala kami talaga and andito na kami,” said Victolero.

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      Converge suffered its first loss this conference for an even 1-1 card, although Victolero sees a lot of upsides for the team with Ayo at the helm.

      “Kita ninyo naman ang ganda ng tinatakbo ng Converge,” said the Magnolia coach. “So hindi mo puwedeng ismolin, hindi puwedeng mag-relax ka dahil they are competing. Madami silang binabatong iba-ibang klase ng schemes on defense and offense.

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      Chito Victolero is glad to see former fellow KIA deputy coach Aldin Ayo finally coaching in the PBA.
      PHOTO: PBA Images
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