FAR Eastern University's 72-58 win over University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Season 82 on Sunday came with a little history to it.
More than reviving the FEU Tamaraws' playoff hopes, the win marked the Racela brothers' first success against coach Aldin Ayo since the Sorsogon-born mentor made the jump to the UAAP back in 2016.
Nash went 0-2 against Ayo, then calling the shots for La Salle, back in Season 79 before he was named head coach of TNT KaTropa in the PBA.
Olsen, who succeeded his brother at the helm of the Tamaraws in 2017, lost all his five previous outings against Ayo between his time in La Salle and UST before this breakthough win.
Yet for Ayo, this means little when it comes to the grand scheme of things.
"Hindi ko naman iniisip 'yun kasi mas importante 'yung team para sa akin," he said at the end of his three-year win streak over the Racelas.
Wasn't it just two years ago when Ayo, still with La Salle, had a few brushes with the Racelas with their respective teams going at it in a bench-clearing brawl that erupted during the Kadayawan Festival in Davao back in 2017?
Time, however, has its way of healing old wounds and it seems like it's all water under the bridge now, with Ayo himself heaping praises towards the brothers.
"Magagaling at experienced na coaches ang mga yan kaya every game, may ginagawa silang bago," he said.
It begs to be asked how Ayo has gotten the Racelas' number for the near-half-decade, yet he stressed that there's nothing different to his approach other than his desire to always get the victory.
"Every game, syempre mindset mo ang manalo regardless kung sino kalaban mo," he said.
It's just that this time out, it's the other side who was hungrier as FEU pummeled UST late, turning a tight 53-51 affair with 6:33 on the clock into a decisive 66-53 advantage with 1:51 remaining.
The Tigers' usually high-octane crew shot only 29-percent from the field and a horrific 21 percent from threes.
"Nakuha namin yung gusto naming tira kaso hindi lang pumasok eh," said Ayo before giving credit to the Tamaraws for their stellar play in the duel.
"FEU played well. Maganda ang nilaro ng FEU against us and credit should be given to coach Olsen and his staff for preparing well against us."
UST dropped to joint third place with FEU on 5-5 cards after their third loss in four games, the reason Ayo feels the urgency to bounce back in a game against University of the Philippines on Wednesday.
"Syempre, every game is important kasi dikit-dikit yung mga teams sa standings. Pero we’re going to take it one game at a time," he said. "Moving forward, we’re going to forget about this but we should learn from our mistakes and refocus ourselves against UP."