HOW does a champion coach outplay the city traffic during this lockdown?
As dope as possible.
The highway’s a runway, at least for the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers head coach Aldin Ayo, who hits the streets with a BMW R9T.
“Gusto ko talaga [ito] kasi classic. Hindi siya naluluma,” he told SPIN Life. “Ang laking tulong sa akin yan lalo na sa traffic sa Manila, ‘pag coding ang oto ko, ‘yan ang ginagamit ko, o di kaya ‘pag Sunday mass before practice. Grabe rin kasi talaga ang natitipid na oras sa traffic ‘pag may gamit ka na motor.”
It's a sweet ride for the Sorsogon-born mentor, one he's long dreamed about. He finally bought this motorcycle last December.
"Matagal ko nang gustong bumili ng motor kaso last year lang ako nagkaroon ng oras,” he said.
He hopes that this would be his only ride given its steep price tag. “Isa lang ‘yan. Hopefully wala nang kasunod."
But Ayo made sure that this one's looking good. He even paid tribute to his alma mater Letran when choosing what color his ride would be.
"Pinili ko din talaga ‘yang kulay na 'yan kasi Letran na Letran. Arriba!" he said with a chuckle.
Ayo, of course, brought glory to the Knights in 2015 as he led them to the NCAA championship in his rookie season. He then moved to stints in La Salle and now UST.
One of the most hardworking bench tacticians out there, one also expects him to be meticulous when it comes to his motorcycle.
And the 42-year-old coach agrees, revealing that he's already bought a couple of aftermarket parts for his big bike.
“May mga binago na ako. ‘Yan ang kagandahan ng R9T, ang daming pwedeng baguhin," he said. "‘Yung nabago ko diyan yung bobber ko yung upuan, G & G exhaust, Ohlins (shocks), side mirror, signal lights."
He seemed surprised when he ran down the list. "Marami-rami na din pala," he said.
At the end of the day, it's all worth it for Ayo as his fascination with his big bike has helped him cope with the tremendous pressure that comes with being at the helm of the Growling Tigers.
"Ang lakas makatanggal ng stress kaya okay na rin as a stress-reliever. Kailangan na rin talaga ng stress-reliever at outlet na wholesome para ma-balanse [ang work and life]," he said.
Given his loaded schedule, Ayo rarely gets a chance to take his big bike for a ride.
But when he does, he takes the opportunity to do weekend rides with his friends to do food crawls around the Metro.
As much as Ayo loves his bike, he never fails to tell those who are interested that when it comes to motorcycles, one's safety is always the paramount concern.
“Magandang libangan ito pero dapat naka-focus ka palagi at dapat maganda ang reflexes mo,” he said. "Basta mag-ingat lang tsaka maging responsible."