Aldin Ayo excited to see ex-players Cansino, Nonoy play in UAAP Finals | Inquirer Sports

Aldin Ayo excited to see ex-players Cansino, Nonoy play in UAAP Finals

/ 03:37 PM November 28, 2023

La Salle Aldin Ayo UAAP

Aldin Ayo, left, with his former players during La Salle’s ring ceremony.–Lance Agcaoili/

MANILA, Philippines — Coach Aldin Ayo is excited for his ex-players Mark Nonoy and CJ Cansino as his former team, La Salle takes on University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals starting on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The first-ever La Salle-UP Finals offers a lot of interesting collisions including ex-University of Santo Tomas stars Nonoy and Cansino, who were part of the Growling Tigers’ last Finals appearance in 2019.


What could have been a young talented roster under Ayo was disrupted by the infamous Sorsogon bubble, which led to Cansino taking his act to UP, where he won his first championship in Season 84, and Nonoy joining La Salle.


Three years after leaving the UST program, the two players clash in a best-of-three Finals as Ayo, who is now a PBA coach with Converge, wishes the best for both.

“Of course, both of them have experience [playing in] the championship. Si CJ, naka-isa, si Mark, knowing Mark, he’s just going to be unconscious. He always plays like that,” said Ayo. “Hopefully, he makes good decisions because that’s always been his problem. But, right now, coach Topex [Robinson] has been doing a good job handling him and he has been responding. Hopefully, he’ll have a good series.”

For Ayo, who last delivered a championship to La Salle in 2016, it’s going to be a pulsating title duel between the Green Archers and Fighting Maroons.

“Well, both teams are talented. Both have a system that works. Both teams are motivated to win,” said the decorated college coach. “What will be crucial will be the decision-making during the game, especially during crunch time. It will depend on the maturity of the players. And I think it’s been six years na wala, they are hungrier against UP na palaging nasa Finals.”

Ayo also marveled at coach Topex Robinson’s motivation to his players that led to their nine straight victories to end a six-year Finals.

“His optimism. Very positive in everything that he does and being a coach, he is very experienced and he has good coaching staff. Well, lahat naman, magde-depende yun sa championship kung sino makakapagdesisyon nang maayos and makapag-perform nang maayos,” he said.


Ayo and the 2016 Green Archers, led by Jeron Teng, were honored to finally receive their championship rings seven years after delivering the school’s ninth and most recent UAAP crown.

“It’s a great honor that after seven years now we’re finally receiving a championship ring and it really means a lot to me because playing for La Salle is one of my greatest achievements and I’m blessed to have won two championships Right now, I’m wearing the 2013 championship ring magiging dalawa na I’m really really blessed and I’m really thankful to all the people who are behind this wonderful ring ceremony,” said Teng, the Season 79 Finals MVP.

The San Miguel Beermen forward rallies behind the current team, led by Kevin Quiambao.

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“Our team this year is really exciting to watch and you know as an alumnus of DLSU I’m really proud of how they represent us. I can’t wait to watch them and support them in the Finals,” Teng said.

TAGS: aldin ayo, CJ Cansino, Jeron Teng, La Salle Green Archers, Mark Nonoy, UAAP, UAAP Season 86

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