Ayo accepts blame for lethargic La Salle showing: 'Kahit sa ensayo, iba galaw nila'
La Salle coach Aldin Ayo took the blame for failing to prepare his players coming out of a long break against a motivated Ateneo team. Jaime Campos

LA Salle coach Aldin Ayo stuck to the positives and took the blame for their first loss in UAAP Season 79, at the hands of Ateneo on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers seemed invincible, after rolling to a 12-0 start. But on the penultimate game before a potential sweep of the elimination round, La Salle couldn’t find an antidote to archrival Ateneo’s onslaught en route to a stunning 83-71 romp by the Blue Eagles.

Though disappointed with the loss, Ayo said he would rather have the team suffer this kind of adversity at this point, rather than later in the season, pointing that a sweep would lead to a three-week break before playing in the championship series.

“I always think of the positives na kung nangyari ‘to na sweep, tapos nagkaroon ng 21-day break for us tapos mas crucial na championship, I would rather choose this kind of situation that we are in,” said Ayo.

The Green Archers’ loss also came after a 12-day break, which Ayo felt could have played a role in the team’s lethargic play.

“It can be a factor. Kung nakita niyo ‘yung dikit-dikit ‘yung laro namin, we were very loose. Etong break, iba. Kahit sa ensayo, iba ‘yung galaw nila,” said Ayo.

But Ayo made it clear that the players were not at fault as, at the end of the day, it is the coaches who prepare the team for the game.

“Hindi ko maku-question ‘yung effort ng mga bata kasi grabe sila mag-trabaho. Siguro if there is someone to blame, ako ‘yun. Ako and the whole coaching staff. Kasi ‘yung mga bata, binibigay naman nila ang lahat. Kulang ‘yung ginawa namin,” said Ayo.

During the postgame talk, Ayo told his players to remember the feeling of losing a match and use it as fuel in moving their campaign forward.

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“They felt bad pero ang sabi ko sa kanila, you have to savor the feeling na meron kayo. Wala namang matitinag sa amin,” said Ayo.

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