ALDIN Ayo has made it official: He is leaving Letran to coach De La Salle in the UAAP.
In an interview on Friday night, Ayo confirmed a Spin.ph report that he is on way to La Salle after accepting an offer that was made by the Green Archers management last Monday.
“Official na,” said Ayo when asked by Spin.ph if the reports were true.
When asked for the reason behind the move, Ayo cited 'personal reasons' for his departure from Letran but at the same time said he is looking forward to the opportunity to mentor one of the top collegiate programs in the country.
Ayo said he will be forever grateful to Letran.
“Wala namang problema sa Letran. Sila Father Rector, Fr. Vic (Calvo), the rest of the administrators, wala akong masabi doon. Even the whole Letran community," said Ayo, who led the Knights to their first NCAA championship in a decade in his only season as coach.
"Ang problema is sa akin na personal. Ayoko na mag-elaborate. Ayokong makalkal ‘yung personal ko na buhay. ‘Yun ang pinakadahilan,” he added.
Ayo also responded to accusations that the move was motivated by money, saying that the terms of the deal have not been even discussed. Some newspaper outlets had previously reported that he was offered a P9 million deal to coach the Green Archers.
“Actually, sa akin, hindi ko alam ‘yung figures. Nag-oo na ako pero ang napag-usapan is four years. Pero wino-work out pa ‘yung ibang details,” said Ayo.
“’Yung tinututukan nila ‘yung pera sa akin, sa akin naman, meron naman akong enough. Simple lang naman ‘yung lifestyle ko, hindi ako maluho. Ang sa akin lang, basta basketball okay ako. Mahal na mahal ko ‘tong laro,” said Ayo.
“Ang sa akin, kung saan may opportunity, okay. ‘Yung new environment, new challenge. Basically ‘yun ‘yung dahilan,” Ayo said.
The soft-spoken coach said even before the La Salle offer came, he had already seriously considered leaving Letran and moving back to Sorsogon to tend to the family business.
He was at that stage when the La Salle offer came, Ayo added.
"To be honest with you, gusto ko na mag-stay sa probinsiya kasi kailangan ako sa Sorsogon ng mama ko, at 'yung negosyo namin," he said. "Pero last Monday, tinawagan ako ng taga-La Salle. Pero before that, nagdadalawang isip na ako sa Maynila."
Ayo, who is seeking a second term as councilor in his native Sorsogon City, said politics also had nothing to do with his move. La Salle team patron Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco is the head of the National People's Coalition (NPC).
Ayo said things should clear up by the second week of December.
“Hintayin nila ‘yung second week ng December and they will be surprised to know what it is. It’s not about politics. Hindi pa naman eto ‘yung tamang oras pero hintayin nila second week of December paguwi ko ng Sorsogon,” said Ayo.
Ayo said he has agreed on a four-year deal with La Salle.
“Parang four years. Pero ‘yung figures, hindi pa. Siguro La Salle na ang bahala kung ilalabas nila. Pero it’s not about the money,” said Ayo.
Incidentally, Letran is holding a victory party on Friday night to celebrate the NCAA Season 91 title. Ayo has been invited but he did not answer categorically when asked if he will attend.