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UST coach Aldin Ayo takes accountability in Finals loss

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UST Growling Tigers were heading into the Finals matchup with momentum on their side after outlasting two teams in three games in the stepladder format.

However, the España-based troops came back down to Earth and was badly beaten by Ateneo Blue Eagles, 77-91, in the Game 1 of the Finals on Saturday.

UST head coach Aldin Ayo was quick to point the blame on himself and the coaching staffs after their defeat.

“We played bad, really bad. We were not executing. Some players did not play their usual game. But I think, the problem is the coaching staff,” he said.

“Tingin ko we were not able to prepare them well. There were situations na hindi namin nadaanan sa practice so, on our part, we just want to be patient.”

The last moment where UST came close to the Blue Eagles is when Mark Nonoy led a 19-3 run in the second period, in which the deficit was cut down to just three, 38-41.

But Ateneo quickly adjusted and never looked back for the rest of the game.

The decorated mentor did not use his inexperienced players as an excuse on why UST succumbed to the two-time defending champs.

“Finals is a different atmosphere. But as I told you, we have to be patient. Whatever it is, you can’t blame the players. Trabaho ng coaching staff to simulate things. Sa abot ng makakaya namin, we are going to do that. Pero yung mga players, they did everything that they could. Hindi lang talaga lumabas yung laro,” Ayo lamented.

“Sa ganitong situation, coaching yung may pananagot diyan.”

Although the Tigers felt dejected and wounded after the duel, Ayo told his boys that Game 2 is still on their way and they still have a fighting chance on Wednesday.

“I told the players that we just have to handle this loss the right way. That means going back to our videos and titignan namin kung ano ‘yung mali. We have to correct them. We have three days to prepare for Wednesday.” (Cyreel Zarate)