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

‘Baldwin helps me grow’ says UST coach Aldin Ayo

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Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin was right when he said to the press that their game against the UST Growling Tigers would be fun.

Indeed, the match itself was a treat for everyone.

In the end, it was the Blue Eagles who came out on top over the Growling Tigers by just a point, 71-70.

UST head coach Aldin Ayo admitted that it was the team’s inexperience that held them back from capitalizing the game.

“We were not able to execute our game plan on those kinds of situations. We prepared for that, pero lumabas yung pagiging bata eh. Nakita yung opportunity even though hindi kasama sa game plan namin, [so] they went for that opportunity,” he shared.

That doesn’t mean that the two-time titlist mentor wasn’t pleased with his matchup with Baldwin.

“Sabi niya sa akin, ‘I told you it’s going to be fun.’ I told him, ‘Good game, coach,'” Ayo said.

Because of their long history back when he was still with La Salle Green Archers, Ayo has formed a mutual respect with the American-Kiwi coach.

“I have nothing but respect for Coach Tab. He made the UAAP better because he raised the level of competition. He made the players better – not only his players, but other players also. He made the coaches better,” he stated.

“For my part, I love the challenge. Ako, naggo-grow rin ako because of him and siguro sila rin, ganun din.”

Ayo surely has learned a lot from his with rivalry with Baldwin — and it really showed his growth not just as a seasoned coach but as a person too.

“That’s the good thing about competition, about sportsmanship. You handle it well, you take it well then everybody benefits from it.”