ON the heels of a horrific three-game skid, UST head coach Aldin Ayo wondered why his players weren’t carrying their performances during training sessions into games.
So he decided to take a step back and let the players let his players breathe a little.
That definitely worked wonders for Ayo and the Growling Tigers as they ended the slide in style, scoring an 80-66 win over the UE Red Warriors on Saturday.
“Siguro yung mga bata relaxed. Hindi masyadong pressured dun sa ginagawa. Katulad ng sabi ko sa inyo na … maigi tong mga to sa ensayo eh so minomotivate ko kung ano yung nilalaro dun sa ensayo namin, mailabas yung laro dito,” said Ayo.
“I told the boys to just go back to the basic. Every time kasi na masama yung nilalaro palagi kong sinasabihan yung mga yan na fundamentals lang. Basic lang. Against Ateneo and La Salle nagka problema kami dun sa simpleng simple lang eh, box out,” Ayo added. Same mga simpleng bagay. How to set a screen, timing sa mga actions, so ginawa naming preparation dito sa UE we did not complicate things eh.”
What Ayo did was give his players a whole day off from their training, enjoying the day away from basketball to celebrate one of their managers’ birthday.
“Mga bata eh. If you put too much pressure sometimes they break eh. What we did was, after that loss to La Salle, I told the boys, we only have two days to prepare tomorrow we’re going to have a break and forget about basketball,” Ayo said.
“They went to spa, nag buffet. After classes nag relax lang yung mga bata. Walang ginawa, totally they detached themselves from basketball. Relax na relax. Then yesterday we practiced for an hour and puro lang review so na relax yung mga bata,” he added.
But Ayo insists that they’ll already be back to regular programming as they look to end the first round with a win against University of the Philippines.
The challenge now for Ayo is finding a balance between having fun and pushing his players moving forward.
“Mahirap naman puro relaxation eh. I told the boys eh. Actually nanggaling sa kanila sabi ni Renzo coach sometimes we overdo it sometimes. Sometimes sobrang kulang naman. Sabi ko sa kanila let’s meet halfway. Let’s moderate things. Every time we moderate things, nagiging balanse eh.”