THOSE expecting Aldin Ayo and Louie Gonzalez to have a jovial reunion after their first meeting as UAAP rival coaches were bound to be disappointed.
Save for the customary post-game handshake, there weren’t any other pleasantries shared between the two ‘kumpares’ after Gonzalez's La Salle dealt Ayo and University of Santo Tomas a 99-72 rout on Wednesday.
“Wala akong sinabi. Coaching, playing in basketball is like politics eh,” said Ayo, who also shared that he and Gonzales haven’t talked since he left Taft in the offseason.
“Magkasama kayo pag parehas 'yung gusto nyong mangyari, parehas 'yung interes nyo. But if there’s conflict of interest, then it becomes different. You’re on the other side. Ganun lang 'yun. Ganun lang kasimple yun,” said Ayo.
Ayo and Gonzalez go way back – from their times as coaches in the Jr. NBA, to their short stint in the PBA with the Kia (now Columbian) franchise, to winning championships in Letran in the NCAA and eventually La Salle in the UAAP.
But the two went separate ways when Ayo left the Green Archers to join University of Santo Tomas, leaving the head coaching duties to Gonzalez.
For Gonzalez, it’s really nothing personal - it’s all part of the job.
“Alam naman natin ang buhay ng coaches. So again, (even if) it's Aldin or other coaches, siguro ako, ganoon pa rin naman ang treatment ko. Pipilitin kong manalo. Pipilitin kong mag-compete,” said Gonzalez.
“Di namin napag-usapan talaga. Ang approach namin going to this game is if we win this game, it will put us in a better spot. It doesn't stop there, it's early in the season, kailangan pa namin i-build up ang team namin.”
Despite the one-sided loss, Ayo insisted he has no regrets moving to Espana and said he knew how it ‘felt’ to be there on the La Salle bench.
“I’m very happy, very much contented that I’m on the other side, because I know the feeling pag doon ka nagco-coach. So even though ganito yung outcome, I’m still very, very happy that I’m here in UST,” said Ayo.
“I appreciate the support of the UST community, I appreciate the support of the managers, the priests.”