Looming UST-La Salle clash just a regular game for coaches Ayo, Gonzales
The upcoming matchup between University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle on Wednesday seemingly looks like another episode in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.
The Green Archers, who are at 2-2, and Growling Tigers, at the bottom at 1-3, wre simply trying to reach the upper echelon in the standings.
However, it is the first time in almost four years that Aldin Ayo and Louie Gonzales won’t be sharing a bench.
The two have been partners in crime for the last four years, starting as assistant coaches under Glenn Capacio in Kia in the PBA. Together, they moved to Letran in 2015 and steered the Knights to the NCAA crown in 2016.
Things, however, will be different come Wednesday when the two face each other for the first time from opposing benches at Mall of Asia Arena but the two gave similar responses saying that it’s just a part of their respective jobs.
“I already knew that we will part ways sooner or later, but I respect Aldin’s decision,” said Gonzales, who is now the Green Archers’ head coach, in Filipino Sunday after his team’s 67-61 loss to University of the Philippines.
Gonzales also served Ayo’s assistant coach at La Salle from 2015 when the latter transferred to La Salle after guiding the Knights to the NCAA title.
Ayo’s transfer to UST after his second year with the Green Archers paved the way for Gonzales to take the head coach’s chair.
“It’s just a regular game, this will be the firs time that I will see my former team in person so that will be interesting,” said Ayo in Filipino Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Gonzales said he respected Ayo’s decision to become the Growling Tigers’ head coach and that his former colleague remains a good friend of his.
“We know each other, we’re still friends, we’re close friends and all of this is just part of the job,” said Gonzales.
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