Will Ayo return to De La Salle University for Season 81?
Though he’s still under contract for two more years, Ayo’s rumored transfer to University of Santo Tomas (UST) for next year has been persistent and the enigmatic bench tactician did not deny nor admit the report.
“I don’t want to comment on that. Actually, I have lots of friends in UST. The priests that brought me here in Manila are in UST. Even my thesis adviser, who is a Dominican, is with UST. A lot of priests and alumni of that school are my friends. Regarding the issue, I won’t comment on that,” said Ayo minutes after surrendering the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball title to Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday.
In a rare moment, Ayo entertained questions from the press after seeing their throne ended by their chief rivals Blue Eagles in three games.
It was Ayo’s first finals loss in a major collegiate league since leading Letran to National Collegiate Athletic Association crown in 2015 and the Green Archers to the UAAP title last year.
Ayo admitted there were a lot of distractions this season, from the social media and even from his fellow coaches that somehow affected him.
But the La Salle mentor said it was all part of his job and he has nothing against them.
“I have one message to them, ‘I forgive, I forgive, I forgive’ because that’s part of the competition. This is just basketball,” he said.
Ayo thanked La Salle for giving him the opportunity to showcase his coaching abilities even it dragged him and his family to controversy.
When Ayo jumped ship from the Knights to the Green Archers, one report mentioned that it was because of the lucrative offer the reason why he left Letran.
“I’ve been bothered by the messages that I’m receiving about my contract with La Salle (P9 million in three years). That’s not true. I don’t have a contract worth P9 million. I’m doing this because I love basketball, the opportunity and I just want to win. Not because of money,” Ayo stressed.
“I have enough and my lifestyle is simple.”
When asked again if he will be returning next year, Ayo said it’s already between him and the management.
“We have an agreement. Actually, it’s fine with me not to have a contract. I just trust the bosses. Nothing is sure. We’re day-to-day basis,” he said.
Maybe, Ayo is really returning for another year for La Salle. And he does not want to have a grand announcement of his comeback.