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

Aldin Ayo has one favor for the UST Community

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The UST Growling Tigers have been nothing but a huge surprise this Season 82.

Before ending the first round of eliminations, UST garnered a solo third-spot with a 4-2 record.

Suddenly, the expectations for the España-based squad became much loftier.

And then, they succumbed to the hands of La Salle and Ateneo.

“Expectations of the whole community biglang tumaas eh,” said UST head coach Aldin Ayo.

“Sometimes, these are young kids, we have nine rookies, di naman natin masasabi na, well, we want them to be consistent, pero bata eh. And somtimes, it affects [them] also.”

Of course, Ayo knows a thing or two about handling pressure — one of which was his Cinderella run with the Letran Knights where he hoisted the championship trophy as a first-year coach.

Which is why it was natural for the two-time titlist mentor to advice his players to loosen up and look back to their loved ones.

“I just told them to lower your expectation sa sarili nila,” Ayo shared.

“You go home. Ibig sabihin you go back to the people na nandun sa yo nung nag umpisa ka. Go home, talk to your families, talk to your friends, talk to your love ones na hindi pa nangyayari to kilala ka na eh. So that was our approach.”

This newfound inspiration and mindset fueled the Growling Tigers to dispatch the UE Red Warriors with a 101-73 beating on Wednesday.

Now that they finally completed a bounce-back triumph, Ayo has a simple favor for the Thomasian community right before the season ends.

“Ako pakiusap ko lang sa Thomasian community, wala ka masasabi in terms of support and prayers, I know the whole community is behind us. Grabe yung suporta sa amin especially yung mga alumni, lahat.”

“But pakiusap ko lang, just temper the expectations, rest assured that we are going to do our best and we’re going forward. Lahat ng ginagawa namin para sa UST,” he ended.