It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Aldin Ayo embraces underdog mentality

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If there is one coach who knows a thing or two about being an underdog, it’s none other than Aldin Ayo.

After the UST Growling Tigers won all of their three games in the stepladder round as a fourth placer, they now face the mighty Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Finals — which has yet to be beaten this Season 82.

For the second year UST mentor, being an underdog means the team has to double their effort in terms of preparation.

“Well, if you’re an underdog, you have to strive more. No complacency because nandoon ka na nga sa ibaba, tapos magiging complacent ka pa?” Ayo said.

“Every time na nagtatrabaho yung kalaban mo dapat you make sure na mas mabigay yung tinatrabaho mo sa kanila. And yung focus and dedication should be there,” he added.

Ayo has saw himself in this kind of situation when he was still with the Letran Knights in 2015 where he boasted a small lineup of Mark Cruz, Kevin Racal, Rey Nambatac, and Jom Sollano.

The Sorsogon-native saw his coaching career rise when his “House of Chaos” system brought Letran the title after beating the formidable San Beda Red Lions.

The secret to Ayo’s success in orchestrating a team? No expectations, just put on the work.

“I just keep on working without thinking kung anong magiging resulta. I just put on the work, pero I don’t expect anything kasi you’ll be disappointed,” he shared.

“Just work, work, work and kapag may resulta, then just be grateful.”

Ayo doesn’t mind grinding his butt off, simply because, he just loves basketball.

“It’s all about passion, passion sa laro. Walang problema yung mag-trabaho nang mag-trabaho because I love what I’m doing,” he said.

Of course, the UST squad easily bought into Ayo’s system and now they saw themselves fighting for the championship in UAAP.