The Arena, San Juan
July 16, 2015

What is a forecast?
In definition, it is a prediction or estimate of future events, especially the coming weather or a financial trend. Simply, it means to estimate, or predict future events or things that haven’t happened and could happen in the future.
Ernie Baron, bless his soul, is a popular weather forecaster while Madam Auring a known fortune teller. Us in the sportswriting business, we have those kinds too. The difference, we don’t forecast weathers nor we read your palm to tell you your fortune, we predict what will happen to a team based on what a team has on paper. I, Sportsmaryosep, consider myself as one.
But just like weather scientists and seers, we bloggers aren’t always right. That’s why its called prediction. It hasn’t happened yet but MAY happen in the future. Take note of the word, MAY. It means there’s a chance it will happen and there is an equal chance it will not. So forgive us if we end up wrong.
Why am I saying these things?
Well, it’s because of Letran coach Aldin Ayo.
You see, Ayo, who has taken over Caloy Garcia this season, has just steered the Letran Knights to a shock 93-80 destruction of the San Beda Red Lions, the reigning five-peat NCAA champions. The win sent Ayo and his shinning armor, I mean the Knights, to their third win in row and into the top alongsisde Nigerian star Bright Akhuetie and the Perpetual Help Altas. It was a sweet win for a coach and a team that were never given a chance coming into Season 91. And give credit to Ayo for architecting what media branded as “disruptive basketball” or “The House of Chaos Ayo and Letran Built.”
And then there was this question by Camille Naredo, a young writer from Abs-Cbn online or whom I suspect a Jasime Payo disciple, during the customary post-game interview at the crowded press room of The Arena in San Juan City asking Ayo his thoughts on those critics who wrote Letran down.
Didn’t catch Ayo’s exact answer but he was saying he was challenged by what Sportsmaryosep wrote just a couple of weeks before the tournament unfolded. Yes you heard it right, ladies and gentlemen, Sportsmaryosep.
Here’s the excerpt of what I’ve written in Part Two of my three-part NCAA preview:

Who is Aldin Ayo? For those who don’t know him, he happens to be the new coach of the Letran Knights, replacing Caloy Garcia, who steered the Knights to a finals stint two years ago only to fail to make it to the Final the next season.
Why it would not win?
Who is Aldin Ayo? He’s practically a newbie in terms of coaching. His coaching experience goes as far as being part of KIA’s coaching staff in the PBA and the Jr. NBA, which is NBA’s program for the youth. Letran has gone from Binky Favis (titled) to Louie Alas (multi-titled) to Garcia (experienced) to Ayo (rookie) in the last few decades. Maybe the Knights are trying to rebuild and literally start from scratch. So let’s give Ayo a chance and the benefit of the doubt.
Why it would win?
Who is Aldin Ayo? As an added info, Ayo is a former teammate of Kerby Raymundo and Chris Calaguio when Letran lorded it over the field in the late 90s. If there’s anything going right for the Knights in tapping Ayo, at least they will not be pressured to win with a brand new coach. So don’t blame Ayo if they lose. Because Letran isn’t going to be a pushover come Season 91. If you’re not scared of the backcourt of Mark Cruz, Kevin Racal and Rey Nambatac, I don’t know what will. Also, Rey Publico and Kier Quinto are both seasoned by last year’s experience. McJour Luib is also back to give the backcourt an added punch defensively. Racal should be back healthy after a season-ending injury a year ago. If you’re scared of Racal, I would also be thinking of Cruz and Nambatac too. Men, I’m excited already.
Madam Auring: Who’s Aldin Ayo again?”

Well, I must admit I belittled Ayo. But how can you blame me? Ayo, afterall, is a rookie coach and hasn’t proven anything but made KIA’s coaching staff in the PBA and the Jr. NBA and WNBA and a coaching stint in, guess where? Sorsogon. That is aside from the fact that I’ve covered Ayo in the late 90s when I was still a cub reporter from the Manila Times and eventually The Philippine STAR. Boy, Ayo was a menace especially on the defensive end just like his Knights today. And besides, Letran is almost the same team as last year minus some of its big men. So who would have thought the Knights would surprise us like what they’ve been doing?

But I understand Ayo. I hurt his feelings. So he has the right to voice out his pent up emotions. It’s also understandable that he stopped reading my Sportsmaryosep blog because of the thrash I’ve written about him. So he might have missed the other blog I’ve penned last July 4 titled “Welcome to the Brightside.” And here’s an excerpt of it that mentioned Ayo and the Knights:

“6. Aldin Ayo and the Knights are no pushovers. After they slew the Jose Rizal Bombers, one of the teams to beat this year, Letran deserves the apologies of many who wrote the team down in the pre-season, including yours truly. You can’t have a better introduction than this for Aldin Ayo. So we’re sorry from the bottom of our collective hearts.”

And these also:

“8. Speaking of Letran, the trio of Kevin Racal, Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac has got to be the best backcourt rotation in the country today. Watching them is like watching Smaug, only, its’ a three-headed dragon. If I were a player not wearing the blue and red, I will be scared and eviscerating on my pants right now.”

So again, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. You want me to kneel?


Happy now, coach?

I hope you are.
Because when the element of Letran’s surprise starts dissipating and teams come out with ways to counter you’re way of basketball and you begin to lose and the doubts start to creep in, that’s when reality comes in. And then you will realize that YOU ARE JUST THREE WINS INTO THE SEASON.
And then when losing start to count and shadows of your carcasses pile up, Sportsmaryosep will come knocking at your door loud. And I will be your Sandman coach, haunting you. Collecting your souls. Like an angel of basketball death. So again, prove me wrong. I welcome it. I will embrace it.
And the best way to do it is with winning.
So shove it to me straight and win that championship.
Because if you do, you will never see the likes me write something asking “Who is Aldin Ayo?”
But rather with these four little words: “Aldin, A-yo The Man!”

Follow me on Twitter: @JoeySVillar


(Photos courtesy of Richard Esquerra of sports.abs-cbn.com)


2 thoughts on “Ayo-nized

  1. Looks like this is going to happen a couple of days from now. So prepare a nice article far better than this one. “Just in case!” Arriba!


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