UNIVERSITY of Sto. Tomas coach Aldin Ayo on Thursday said he was saddened by the tirade made against him by the school’s outgoing juniors coach, saying Chris Cantonjos' anger all emanated from a misunderstanding
Breaking his silence on Thursday, Ayo said he found Cantonjos’ recent statements against him unfair since he has no plan to oust Cantonjos from his present position.
Ayo said he plans to keep Cantonjos with the juniors squad and expand his role to be a big man's coach for the seniors team.
“Nalungkot lang talaga ako sa sinabi niyang statements na kung ano-ano na for me, it’s uncalled for,” Ayo said in a phone interview with SPIN.ph. “It’s not fair especially sa coaching staff, sa amin, at sa school kasi wala naman kaming ginagawa na kung ano-ano."
On Tuesday, at the end of UST's campaign in the UAAP juniors tournament, Cantonjos went on a rant against Ayo and school officials on different issues that hounded the Tiger Cubs’ campaign since Ayo was officially named as head coach of the seniors team.
Cantonjos accused school officials of 'neglect' and Ayo of 'disrespect.'
“Siguro ‘yung mga lumalabas-labas na statement ng kung ano-ano, haka-haka lang. Siguro at ng narinig niya, sinabi sa kanya based dun sa haka-haka na walang basehan,” said Ayo, who added he admired Cantonjos during his playing days being a fellow Sorsogon native.
Ayo also denied reports that new UST seniors assistant coach Randy Alcantara is being eyed to replace Cantonjos, saying the former can no longer accept another position being the concurrent head coach of the Mapua juniors team and an assistant coach of the Mapua seniors team.
”Actually, wala pa. ‘Yung sinasabi na si coach Randy, hindi puwede si coach Randy kasi marami na siyang hawak na teams. Si coach Randy ang head coach ng [Mapua] juniors, assistant coach ng [Mapua] seniors, assistant coach sa amin dito sa UST seniors.
"Hindi na kakayanin ni coach Randy na maging coach ng juniors. Kung ‘yun ang basehan na nagtampo siya, hindi totoo ‘yun. Hindi namin gagalawin ‘yun kasi sila nga sana ‘yung first option namin,” said Ayo.
Ayo also took exception to Cantonjos’ statements comparing his decorated playing career with the Tigers to Ayo's own career with Letran.
”Kung ano man ‘yung na-achieve mo, 'wag ka na maghanap ng self-entitlement kasi he doesn’t own the school. Hindi naman niya pagmamay-ari ang UST. In the first place, sinabi niya na nagbigay siya ng championship at MVP, hindi naman individual sport ang basketball. May mga teammates na tumulong sa kanya.
“Talking about coaching, ‘yung galing niya sa basketball, ‘yung pagiging 6-6 niya, hindi makakatulong ‘yun sa pagco-coach niya kasi pinaguusapan dito, hindi naman as a player, pinag-uusapan dito as a coach. Nalulungkot lang ako na umabot sa ganitong point pero I have to clarify. Opinyon ko rin naman ‘yun. I respect his opinion, eto naman ang opinyon ko,” said Ayo.
Ayo also addressed Cantonjos' anger over the attempt to recruit UAAP Season 80 MVP CJ Cansino of the Tiger Cubs during the season, saying he had the go-signal from the school’s athletic director.
“Actually, ang nagbigay ng go-signal is 'yung athletic moderator ng UST sa IPEA, the alumni, and the managers. We really had to talk to CJ kasi kinukuha siya ng ibang schools. Kami naman, galing sa juniors, siyempre, dapat mapunta sa seniors. Kailangan kausapin.
"And as a coach naman, he doesn’t own CJ. Player niya si CJ pero hindi siya ‘yung parent ni CJ. Tayo namang mga coaches, we are doing our jobs. We don’t own our players."
Ayo said he already had plans to speak with Cantonjos about Cansino even before his rant.
“Nagpaalam kami sa athletic moderator. Magpapaalam din sana ako sa kanya kaso naglabas na siya ng ganung statements na hindi na ako maka-ano na 'pag linapitan ko siya, mag-iiba na ‘yung interpretation,” said Ayo.
“Naiintindihan ko naman na kapag upset ka, may nasasabi ka na mga bagay na ganun na kapag sinabi mo ‘yun, may mga consequences,” said Ayo.
Nevertheless, Ayo apologized for what had transpired and is willing to iron things out with Cantonjos.
“Kung nakasagasa man ako, sa akin, with all sincerity, I would like to apologize to coach Chris. Hindi namin sinasadya ‘yun. Walang ganun na sinadya or ano. I really want to apologize regarding that,” said Ayo.
“Sa akin naman, okay naman ako sa lahat ng possibilities. Actually, hindi naman ako namemersonal. Kung ano ang ikakaganda ng team para sa community ng UST, ‘yun ang iisipin ko. At the end of the day, gusto natin manalo. Pero depende sa kanya ‘yan at kailangan i-approve ng nakakataas sa atin. Kung magkausap kami para ma-clarify lahat, maganda,” Ayo said.