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To relieve pressure from Growling Tigers, Ayo urges UST community to ‘temper’ expectations on his players

by Niel Victor Masoy, October 09, 2019 6:17pm

University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Aldyin Ayo has one request for the UST community: temper their expectations on the Growling Tigers this University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament.

This, after Ayo himself noticed that his players are being affected by high expectations and pressure from basically almost everyone.

“After winning two games and after our (close) loss against Ateneo in the first round, all of a sudden yung expectation tumaas na dapat di naman kasi kumbaga nag uumpisa pa lang eh,” said Ayo, referring to UST’s 3-1 start which also saw the Catholic school beat a title contender team in the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons.

Ayo shared that the pressure are taking away the enjoyment of his players even in their practices.

“It was difficult. Mararamdaman mo sa mga bata yung pressure and actually they became tight. Kahit yung mood sa practice, masyadong nakatutok eh, which is in a good way sana okay pero naapektuhan na yung approach ng mga bata sa laro eh,” said Ayo, whose UST team (5-4) currently occupies the third spot of the team standings following its win over University of the East (UE) Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

With this, Ayo encouraged his players to go back to the people - family and friends - who have been there for them from the very start.

“I just told them to lower your expectation sa sarili nila. Tapos sinabihan ko na… my term was - you go home.You go home, ibig sabihin you go back to the basic,” he said.

“Ang point ko sa kanila kasi all of a sudden ang daming kumakausap sa mga bata eh. Kung sino-sino. May mga sponsorship. All of a sudden ganun eh. 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.”

Ayo shared that his players, especially the probinsyano’s (people who came from the countryside) are being homesick as well. With that, Ayo - a probinsyano himself - joined hands with the players’ agents to bring the players’ parents here in the Metro gradually.

“Before, even right now ganun naman eh. Dinaan ko yan. I know how to handle it. Paunti unti yung mga parents ng mga bata pinapunta namin dito sa Manila. Yung mga coming from the provinces kasi number one, they’re homesick. They’re homesick and grabe yung pressure, kulang na lang pumunta sa yo, umiyak sa yo, 'coach parang grabe na to’,” shared Ayo.

“So I advised them with the help of the managers na pumunta dito yung parents paunti unti without distracting them. Ganun. Even myself, pinapunta ko yung mga anak ko muna kasi grabe rin, di rin ako makauwi. So yun lang kwan ko, yun lang nakaka-release sa akin , makita mo yung mga anak mo eh.”

While Ayo is grateful for the support of the UST community, he stressed the need for the Thomasians to temper their expectations on the Growling Tigers. In return, Ayo said they are out to do their best every time they take the court just like what they’ve been doing from the very beginning.

“Expectations of the whole [UST] community biglang tumaas eh. And sometimes, these are young kids, we have nine rookies, di naman natin masasabi na, well, we want them to be consistent, pero bata eh,” the UAAP and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) champion coach said.

“Sometimes, it affects [them] also. Ako marami nga nagmemessage sakin na mga alumni. For sure sila marami nagmemessage sa kanila, ‘O, bakit ngayon bakit hindi ka na maka score? Bakit hindi ka na maka-three-points?’ Yun, it adds pressure.

“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.”

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