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Thread: Shooting for Back-Back UAAP Championships

  1. #31
    ^ Just in case there was ever any doubt who the team to beat REALLY is in UAAP Season 80.

  2. #32
    Game 1 is this Saturday. If I were making book I'd probably give Ateneo a plus-4 or 4.5, because seriously, Benoit Mbala can just plain take over and dominate and there won't be a goddam thing anybody can do to stop him.

    Sabi nga nung isang tropa ko after the Round 2 game, "Na-mamaw tayo ni Mbala," and he was of course absolutely right.

    The Ateneo needs to not play the way it has in its last three games leading up to these Finals, kasi kung ganun ang ilalaro ng Blue Eagles, might as well iabot na lang ang trophy sa Green Archers.

    Lasalle for its part can actually take it a little easy and just let Benoit be Benoit. Kasi habang may mga iniisip pang kung ano-anong gawin si Coach Ayo, dun pa nadadale ang team niya.

    Seryoso, huwag na tayo maglokohan, let Benoit dominate and the back to back is all but guaranteed.

    Try to get fancy and the Ateneo will surely find ways to hang in there, and might even pull the rug out from under the Archers.

  3. #33
    La Salle practices off limits as champs lock in on grudge match against Ateneo

    From: Reuben Terrado November 23, 2017, 09:27 pm

    LA Salle is taking no chances and keeping its preparations under wraps as the defending champion turned their attention to Ateneo ahead of the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball finals.

    Inquiries regarding practice schedules of La Salle were left unanswered on Thursday, a day after the Blue Eagles beat Far Eastern University in overtime to earn a shot at the Green Archers in the finals.

    Players have also been discouraged from granting interviews to mediamen, has learned.

    The Green Archers are determined to rule out any distractions ahead of the best-of-three finals against the Blue Eagles, who are out to avenge a loss to their longtime rivals in the title series last year.

    In an interview after La Salle booked a finals seat with a win over Adamson, La Salle coach Aldin Ayo couldn't emphasize enough the value of focus.

    "We are focused on a game plan especially on defense because when we were in the first round, there were a lot of distractions. Simple schemes on defense, sometimes we can't execute. We tend to gamble a lot, and we were very undisciplined when we were in the first round," he said.

    "But it became different in the second round because they just surrendered to the system and overcome the distractions," said Ayo.

    Ayo said it was easier to keep the Green Archers locked in as they got closer to their ultimate goal - a second straight title.

    "Wala namang motivation kundi championship eh. 'Yun lang. Wala ng hugot o ano. Championship ang pinag-uusapan dun," said Ayo.

  4. #34
    You have the (back-to-back) MVP, arguably the best player ever in the history of the UAAP, and two out of the Season Mythical 5 are yours as well. Easily three or four of your guys are certain PBA First Round draft picks when their time comes in a couple years.

    How do you lose a championship that was, well, yours to lose?

    It may be time to fire your coach.


  5. #35
    Ben Mbala gracious in defeat; Ayo bares big man has one year left with La Salle

    From: Christian Jacinto December 4, 2017, 01:40 pm

    LOSING the title may be one bitter pill to swallow for reigning back-to-back MVP Ben Mbala, but the La Salle star knows that this is all a part of his journey in basketball.

    The Cameroonian powerhouse gave all the credit to Ateneo for playing better as a team and sticking to its game plan as charged this loss to experience, not only for him but for the rest of the Green Archers.

    "It has to be a learning experience for me. You can't just learn by winning. You can also learn by losing. This is a situation that you have to learn by losing and I take it as a man," Mbala said as he scored 17 points and 14 rebounds in their 88-86 loss to the Blue Eagles.

    "I just told them (teammates) congrats. You gave your best. You won't always be a winner. Sometimes you just have to be on the side of the losers, unluckily, we were on the side of the losers," he added.

    The 23-year-old big man rued his squad?s meltdown in the fourth quarter where he said they veered away from their game plan, losing their rhythm in the process.

    "We didn't get to play our game. We didn't get to our games. We didn't have our rhythm. We just played within the flow and we took a lot of bad shots, turned the ball over when it was the most important."

    He however was happy to finally get this heated series over with where he took his own share of criticism and negative comments from opposing fans.

    While walking out of the dugout, Mbala was approached by several Ateneo fans asking for photos while also exchanging hugs with some Ateneo players.

    For Mbala, that right there was the essence of this game.

    "It?s a game after all, just not because it's Ateneo or La Salle you have to hate each other. After the game, we still have our lives and we have to keep going on with our lives."

    Mbala still has a year of eligibility left and he said that he will talk to the school about his future plans.

    His head coach in Aldin Ayo, however, is confident that Mbala will be back for his final year.

    "He still has one year based on the ground rules of the UAAP. Ben still has one more year in the UAAP. He'll be here next year," said Ayo.

  6. #36
    From Tiebreaker Times ...

    Aldin Ayo brushes off Tab Baldwin's admiration of his system

    Published 3 hours ago on December 4, 2017 By Matthew Li

    It took two years for the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin to devise schemes and strategies to get past the De La Salle University Green Archers. And after nine tries, the well-traveled tactician was finally able to close out this chapter by outlasting the defending champions in three grueling yet epic games on Sunday evening.

    "They never take the pressure off. You know, they're confident in their system - and that comes from Aldin [Ayo],? shared Baldwin, who has 35 years of experience under his belt. "They believe in their players, they believe in their system and they're just not gonna take their foot off your throat for one minute."

    "I admire that so much."

    After getting a chance to see and experience the holistic system that Ayo has developed last season, the former Gilas Pilipinas head coach shared that their physical training just to keep up with La Salle started as early as January. But even with this preparation, the Blue Eagles needed to dig deep in each of their five meetings this season.

    "We had to rise to their level. They set the bar. So I have to congratulate them for that."

    "Losing is always tough and I'm happy it's them not us but there's no lack of respect and admiration for who they are and what they did to get here, what they did today," beamed Baldwin.

    "They fought back again. We had them down and again they fought back. You know, we had them down ten and then they cut it to I don't know, three or something, two?," he pointed out.

    "They're champions, they're still champions. You can't take that away from them. But now, so are we."

    Fresh off his first series loss in two years, Ayo shrugged off the kind words that the American-Kiwi mentor said about him and his system, saying it is all part of the build-up for next season.

    "He?s playing mind games."

    "Ganoon naman palagi eh. Ako naiintindihan ko naman because he's just competing. He's going to say nice things and those things are preparation for next year," the highly-competitive coach said.

    "Everything that we say here to all of you, lahat 'yan may purpose, and that purpose is to compete," Ayo added. "Kung titignan mo 'yung motive, he's just competing. On our part, walang problema. We just want to compete."

    This, however, stems from how other coaches perceive him, according to the youthful mentor. Aware of what his peers have been saying about him, Ayo feels like he is still undermined despite the accomplishments he has achieved.

    "There are other coaches, they are trying to ridicule you, bully you," disclosed Ayo.

    "I have one message to them, 'I forgive, I forgive, I forgive' because it's part of the competition naman. Since tapos na rin naman yung season, there?s a difference, basketball lang naman ito."

  7. #37
    Aldin Ayo admits 'unresolved issues' from championship season weighed down La Salle

    From: Christian Jacinto December 4, 2017, 06:04 pm

    LA SALLE head coach Aldin Ayo tipped his hat off to Ateneo for being the better team in the UAAP Season 80 Finals while admitting there were sensitive issues that the Green Archers never got to resolve for the duration of the season.

    The Green Archers shrugged off a shaky start to the season and got as far as the finals, only to lose to the Blue Eagles in three close games.

    "They played better than us. Obviously, they're the better team. I congratulate Ateneo, the players and the coaching staff," said Ayo while accepting the blame for 'unresolved issues' from the Green Archers' run to the championship last season.

    "We were not able to handle very well our championship last season. I don't want to expound on that. Medyo maselan eh. We were not able to handle really well our championship. Worried ako how we started our season. Syempre, being the head coach, I'm accountable for everything that happened," he added.

    Ayo said he is happy with how his team performed but rued how these issues manifested in the worst possible time - in the finals series against Ateneo.

    "Of course, we're going to compete. We're going to play and squeeze everything sa abot ng makakaya namin. I want to compete, gusto namin manalo," Ayo continued.

    "May mga sa preparations namin. There were problems na we were not able to resolve pagdating dito sa championship, lumabas."

    Basically put in the hotseat for most of the season, Ayo says that he's leaving it all behind now that the UAAP season has ended.

    He admitted going on a social media hiatus during the final stretch of the season but he still has a word for his critics: He forgives them and it's not his fault that he's at La Salle.

    "Ang daming distractions. Social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, lahat. Mumurahin ka or kung ano-ano sasabihin sa 'yo, even my fellow coaches, kalaban mo rito, they're going to ridicule you. Some of the coaches, ibu-bully ka. I have one message to them: I forgive, I forgive, I forgive, because that's part of competition naman," Ayo said.

    "Since tapos na naman yung season, it's all different. Basketball lang naman ito eh. 'Yung mga nagtatanim ng sama ng loob because of my job here, it's not my fault. 'Di ko naman kasalanan na kinuha ako ng La Salle. I'm grateful."

    Asked about his message to his players after the defeat, the former NCAA and UAAP champion coach's message was pretty simple.

    "I told them we pray very hard to win, but we have to pray harder everytime we lose. We just have to be grateful for the opportunity, the experience and make sure that we learn from this."

  8. #38
    Hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa din mawari papano natalo ang Lasalle sa Ateneo nito lang nakalipas na UAAP Finals.

    Those of you who know me know I am an Atenean and I was of course rooting all the way for the Blue Eagles.

    But those of you who know me better know that I am also a dyed-in the-wool basketball guy who tries as hard as he can to study the game love.

    Anak ng tipaklong, there should have been no way Ateneo won over Lasalle. SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

    Balikan natin ang Game 2, lamang ng 21 ang Ateneo nung first half, umalagwa bigla ang Lasalle, umabot ng 13 ang bawing lamang nila, and they won by seven.

    Ganun ka-talented ang Lasalle, down 21, still won by seven.

    Nung Game 1 Lasalle was down a much as 12, panalo Ateneo by six, on a clutch play by Thirdy Ravena and George Go in the last few seconds of that contest.

    Nung Game 3 Ateneo was up 10 points in the payoff fourth period, naibaba ng Lasalle all the way down to two points at 82-80, at dito may halo na din sigurong buenas. Drive si Thirdy, spin, kick out pass kay George, high looper tres ni George ringless, 85-80. Ateneo won by two 88-86 kasi nakachamba pa pabandang tres ni Andrei Caracut.

    So nung dikitan at pitpitan ng itlog hindi nakaporma ang team na may dalawang Mythical 5, kasama ang MVP. Pero nung tambak sila ng 21, somehow napihit pa nila into a 34-point turnaround.

    Do those scenarios make sense?

    Madaling sisihin ang youth nung dalawang inasahan ng Lasalle bukod kay super import Benoit Mbala, na sina Aljun Melecio at Ricci Rivero. They were the ones after all who made the bad decisions in Game 3 that turned the tide in favor of the Ateneo.

    Pero teka, hindi ba coach na dapat ang magrenda sa kanila kung ganun? So ano ginawa nung coach nila?

    Andun lang si Mbala, clear mismatch kahit sa high post kasi kayang-kaya niyang blow-by si George at si Ikeh.

    Ano ginawa ni Coach Aldin Ayo? Pinilit pa din niya sa poste si Mbala kung saan mas madali siya i-trap ng depensa ng Ateneo.

    Malas pa nila, kada kick out pass ni Mbala, tila minalas na sa pukol sina Melecio at Rivero.

    In other words, there were plenty of things within the control of the Lasalle coaching team to still take that game and that back to back home to Taft. Inexplicably, they did none of those things.

    Ganun lang ba kasimple 'yon?


    So ano na pala dapat gawin ng Lasalle ngayon...?

  9. #39

  10. #40
    Change of heart: Ayo leaves La Salle for UST

    By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ / 02:08 PM December 27, 2017

    Just a week after La Salle assured that its Green Archers "stand united as a team," coach Aldin Ayo bolted out of the squad to assume the head coaching post of the University of Santo Tomas.

    Inquirer sources said the new chief backer of the UST men's basketball team - FMR Corporation, a bus company whose owners have strong links to the Dominicans in both UST and Letran - spearheaded Ayo's transfer to UST.

    Ayo had earlier reaffirmed his commitment with La Salle as team officials also said that the Archers "stand united as a team to regroup and regain the crown next season" after bowing to rival Ateneo in the UAAP this month.

    But sources close to the situation disclosed that Ayo had a change of heart and tendered his resignation Tuesday night. La Salle deputy Louie Gonzales will serve as interim coach.

    The Archers will have to pick up the pieces left by Ayo's departure as well as two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, who opted to turn pro in Mexico.

    Ayo, who won championships with Letran in the NCAA and La Salle in the UAAP, had been rumored to mentor a third varsity school in Manila in five years even during the Archers' Season 80 campaign.

    In his two years with the Archers, he amassed a 30-5 record. In contrast, the Growling Tigers only registered a 4-24 slate the past two seasons.

    Clearly, Ayo's job will be a lot harder in Espana as he will be tasked to rebuild a squad which is coming off its worst UAAP record of 1-13 under Boy Sablan.

    UST will still have Marvin Lee, Jordan Sta. Ana and Cameroonian big man Steve Akomo, and the returning duo of Renzo Subido and Mario Bonleon.

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