ALDIN Ayo paid tribute to Eric Altamirano even as the new La Salle coach scored a big win over the veteran who he considers mentor.
The Archers coach said he has high respect for Altamirano, whose nationwide program helped propel him to the top leagues in the country.
Ayo again spoke about being discovered though Altamirano’s National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) program that trains not only players in the countryside but coaches as well.
Chief of a basketball program in Sorsogon, Ayo was working as an assistant at Kia in the PBA when he was hired by Letran as head coach. He led the Knights to the championship right in his rookie year.
“He and Coach Alex (Compton) should be proud because they all started this,” Ayo said during the postgame interview following La Salle’s win over Altamirano’s NU squad on Sunday in the UAAP.
“Kung hindi nila ako dinala sa Manila, hindi ko nakita kung paano mag-coach sa Manila. Hindi ako makakapag-isip na pumunta dito,” Ayo added.
Ayo, hired by La Salle shortly after Letran’s NCAA title run, also mentioned Alaska coach Compton, who was NBTC national training director as key persons who helped steer him to the big leagues.
“I’m grateful to Coach Eric, Ma’am Marissa (Altamirano’s wife), and coach Alex sa NBTC program nila kasi binibigyan nila ng chance ang mga coaches from the provinces na pumunta dito,” said Ayo.