LA Salle coach Aldin Ayo denied accusations he choked FEU's Arvin Tolentino during the melee that broke out during the Kadayawan Festival pocket tournament in Davao.
"Actually, I didn't do that," said Ayo on Monday, finally breaking his silence about his involvement in the melee between the Green Archers and Tamaraws.
Ayo said he was only pacifying the situation that had gone out of control. "Lahat naman ng coaches doon, tumatakbo, may tinulak, umawat. I was just doing that."
Ayo explained he chose to kept quiet until Monday so as not to ignite the situation especially on social media. He added he had planned not to attend the press conference, knowing that the melee will be brought up.
"Kung bibigyan ng motive 'yung ginawa ng mga coaches doon, puwede mong lagyan ng storya o kuwento, I opted not to say about it kasi lalo lang lalala hanggang sa dumating 'yung point na 'to (press conference). Actually, I was planning not to go here kasi may importante akong pupuntahan, pero sinakripisyo ko na muna to answer your question.
Ayo also added he told his players not to react on the incident to prevent the issue from getting bigger.
"It was very unfortunate what happened. Sana hindi nangyari 'yun. Pero hindi na namin pinag-uusapan 'yun. I told the boys, 'wag na pag-usapan, wag na mag-post. Actually, we are too focused on the UAAP that right after that, we practiced. We never talked about it. Actually hindi na kailangan pag-usapan kasi walang nananalo sa social media. If you argue or prove your point, lalo lang lalaki," said Ayo.
But the ‘basket-brawl’ could sort of help drum up Season 80, and even coaches said in jest the rematch of the teams would be exciting.
"I'm excited to watch La Salle versus FEU," said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren in his opening statement, drawing laughs from the people in attendance.
UP coach Bo Perasol said in jest: "Sa YouTube ko lang napanood yung La Salle-FEU. Gusto ko lang makita sa tunay."
Ayo, however, also said the team is ready to move on, even hugging FEU coach Olsen Racela in front of photographers.
Ayo also hopes both teams learned their lesson following the melee.
"If we can pass through this, the better kasi sports naman ito. Hopefully, matuto tayo doon. Wag tayo pupunta sa lugar na maglalaro tayo tapos hindi mo mako-control 'yung situation. Hopefully, 'yung two teams, matutunan 'yun," said Ayo.