UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas is taking no chances as it came to terms with coach Aldin Ayo on a three-year extension.
The outspoken mentor confirmed the news to Spin.ph on Friday. The deal will keep the decorated coach in Espana up to 2023 and effectively quashed talk that Ayo was bound to a fourth college team next season.
Ayo still had a year remaining in his contract with UST, but with the Growling Tigers making great strides in his second season, the administration led by Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) head Fr. Jannel Abogado, OP made sure to lock up the charismatic bench tactician for the long haul.
The two parties agreed on the deal earlier this month, before Ayo and his family went back home to Sorsogon.
The proof is in the pudding for the 42-year-old Ayo, who is part of a rare club to have won a UAAP title, back in his time in La Salle, and an NCAA crown, in Letran.
In his first year at the helm at UST, reforms were evident as the Growling Tigers regained their long-missing grit to rise from the cellar to a sixth place finish with a 5-9 card in 2018.
But it wasn't until this last season where UST really made a splash under the guidance of Ayo, making it to the playoffs as the four-seed with its 8-6 record and climbing up the stepladder semis before finishing bridesmaid to champion Ateneo in the UAAP Season 82 Finals.
With Ayo locked up, the Growling Tigers are poised to continue contending behind a young and promising core led by MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo, Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy, and studs Rhenz Abando, CJ Cansino, and Brent Paraiso.