NATIONAL University coach Eric Altamirano lauded Aldin Ayo’s efforts to develop basketball at the grassroots level, noting the La Salle mentor stood out because he did much more than just coach kids.
“We’ve known him ever since. Matagal na siya. He was one of our local coaches in the NBTC when we were starting,” said Altamirano of the former NCAA champion coach who is now his rival in the UAAP.
“We appreciate his support kasi si Aldin, hindi lang siya nagco-coach, siya rin ’yung nagfa-fund nung team niya sa Sorsogon."
Altamirano said Ayo was a dedicated coach when he built a basketball program in Sorsogon in line with the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) nationwide program that also had Alaska coach Alex Compton as national training director.
“Makikita mo talaga ’yung dedication niya as a coach and as a person who loves to develop players sa grassroots level,” said Altamirano.
Ayo paid tribute to Altamirano after La Salle beat NU in their UAAP match-up last Sunday, as it was in the NBTC nationwide program where he got his start in coaching.
The Knights won in the first year under Ayo’s watch, beating San Beda in the finals last year to break the school’s decade-long title drought.
“I’m glad that he became a successful coach and is one of the top coaches in college. I’m happy for him,” said Altamirano.
Altamirano is also flattered with Ayo’s recognition.
“He is also a good person. Kami ni coach Alex, kami sa NBTC, we really put a lot of emphasis sa character ng tao. We are very happy to have Coach Aldin sa program namin sa NBTC,” said Altamirano.