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    Aldin Ayo debunks transfer rumors, vows to stay put at UST

    Nov 20, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    ALDIN Ayo put issues of another rumored transfer to rest, assuring that he'll stay at University of Santo Tomas as long as the school still wants him.

    The Sorsogon-born mentor, who has coached in three schools over the past five years, said that although he has not signed any extension, he's leaving that decision in the hands of the Tigers' team management.

    "I'll leave that to the managers kasi I still have one more year left. Kung ano 'yung gagawin nila na makaka-stay ako sa UST, welcome sa akin yun," he said after UST's 86-79 Game Two defeat to Ateneo in the Finals on Wednesday.

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    In just two years, Ayo has brought the Growling Tigers back from the bowels of the UAAP to the finals.

    Despite fielding an inexperienced crew led by newcomers Soulemane Chabi Yo, Mark Nonoy, and Rhenz Abando, UST turned heads all season and got back to the Final Four for the first time since 2015.

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    The Growling Tigers continued to impress in the stepladder semifinals, surviving must-win games against Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines (twice) before losing to Ateneo in the best-of-three finals.

    Though UST fell short of a championship, Ayo said he felt the love of the community in his two years in Espana while also achieving his goals of personal growth.

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    "Ako, I can say, mahal na mahal ko ang UST. Mahal na mahal ko ang community," said Ayo, who was the subject of transfer rumors during the course of the season as coaching jobs became vacant in the league.

    "Yung sinasabi ko na personal growth kaya ako lumipat ng UST, I was able to achieve that. I learned a lot when I transferred to UST, hindi lang sa basketball, pati sa buhay, kung paano kami itrato ng mga pari, ng community, ng students at alumni. First time ko maka-experience ng ganyang kainit na suporta."

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      That's the reason he vowed to stay, so long as the school wants him.

      "Ang binitawan ko na commitment kila (IPEA director) Fr. Jannel (Abogado), boss Jimi (Lim), boss David (Ong), kay Atty. (Nilo) Divina, at sa mga players, hindi ako aalis sa UST unless UST ang umalis sa akin, unless UST ang umayaw sa akin," he said.

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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