Just a week after La Salle assured that its Green Archers “stand united as a team,” coach Aldin Ayo bolted out of the squad to assume the head coaching post of the University of Santo Tomas.
Inquirer sources said the new chief backer of the UST men’s basketball team—FMR Corporation, a bus company whose owners have strong links to the Dominicans in both UST and Letran—spearheaded Ayo’s transfer to UST.
Ayo had earlier reaffirmed his commitment with La Salle as team officials also said that the Archers “stand united as a team to regroup and regain the crown next season” after bowing to rival Ateneo in the UAAP this month.
But sources close to the situation disclosed that Ayo had a change of heart and tendered his resignation Tuesday night. La Salle deputy Louie Gonzales will serve as interim coach.
The Archers will have to pick up the pieces left by Ayo’s departure as well as two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, who opted to turn pro in Mexico.
Ayo, who won championships with Letran in the NCAA and La Salle in the UAAP, had been rumored to mentor a third varsity school in Manila in five years even during the Archers’ Season 80 campaign.
In his two years with the Archers, he amassed a 30-5 record. In contrast, the Growling Tigers only registered a 4-24 slate the past two seasons.
Clearly, Ayo’s job will be a lot harder in España as he will be tasked to rebuild a squad which is coming off its worst UAAP record of 1-13 under Boy Sablan.
UST will still have Marvin Lee, Jordan Sta. Ana and Cameroonian big man Steve Akomo, and the returning duo of Renzo Subido and Mario Bonleon.