LA SALLE head coach Aldin Ayo tipped his hat off to Ateneo for being the better team in the UAAP Season 80 Finals while admitting there were sensitive issues that the Green Archers never got to resolve for the duration of the season.
The Green Archers shrugged off a shaky start to the season and got as far as the finals, only to lose to the Blue Eagles in three close games.
“They played better than us. Obviously, they’re the better team. I congratulate Ateneo, the players and the coaching staff,” said Ayo while accepting the blame for 'unresolved issues' from the Green Archers' run to the championship last season.
“We were not able to handle very well our championship last season. I don’t want to expound on that. Medyo maselan eh. We were not able to handle really well our championship. Worried ako how we started our season. Syempre, being the head coach, I’m accountable for everything that happened,” he added.
Ayo said he is happy with how his team performed but rued how these issues manifested in the worst possible time – in the finals series against Ateneo.
“Of course, we’re going to compete. We’re going to play and squeeze everything sa abot ng makakaya namin. I want to compete, gusto namin manalo,” Ayo continued.
“May mga sa preparations namin. There were problems na we were not able to resolve pagdating dito sa championship, lumabas.”
Basically put in the hotseat for most of the season, Ayo says that he’s leaving it all behind now that the UAAP season has ended.
He admitted going on a social media hiatus during the final stretch of the season but he still has a word for his critics: He forgives them and it’s not his fault that he’s at La Salle.
“Ang daming distractions. Social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, lahat. Mumurahin ka or kung ano-ano sasabihin sa yo, even my fellow coaches, kalaban mo rito, they're going to ridicule you. Some of the coaches, ibu-bully ka. I have one message to them: I forgive, I forgive, I forgive, because that’s part of competition naman,” Ayo said.
“Since tapos na naman yung season, it’s all different. Basketball lang naman ito eh. Yung mga nagtatanim ng sama ng loob because of my job here, its not my fault. Di ko naman kasalanan na kinuha ako ng La Salle. I’m grateful.”
Asked about his message to his players after the defeat, the former NCAA and UAAP champion coach’s message was pretty simple.
“I told them we pray very hard to win, but we have to pray harder everytime we lose. We just have to be grateful for the opportunity, the experience and make sure that we learn from this.”