By Jerome Lagunzad
Aldin Ayo’s contract with La Salle is set to expire tomorrow and it’s only a matter of time before his imminent transfer to University of Santo Tomas becomes official.
While Ayo, 40, remains mum following his sudden change of heart that caught the Green Archers team management by surprise early this week, his backers, chiefly the FMR Corporation, continue to move heaven and earth in their bid to fill up the vacated Growling Tigers post.
According to an ever reliable source of Tempo-Bulletin, the UST team management is laying out a “six-year deal” for Ayo, who will also given the keys to handle the Tigers Cubs’ team to ensure “the continuity of his long-term program.”
With Ayo’s top deputy Louie Gonzales and Glenn Capacio staying put at La Salle, Miggy Solitaria will call the shots for UST’s juniors basketball team with the help of former Letran standout McJour Luib.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that Ayo really wanted to have such set-up with La Salle where he will be given the chance to take control of the Greenies team.
However, La Salle-Greenhills, currently handled by Marvin Bienvenida, looks established more than ever, underscored by the Greenies’ stirring title run in the recent NCAA juniors cage wars.
That proved to be the deciding factor for Ayo to make a U-turn over his earlier commitment to the Green Archers during their get-together dinner more than a week ago and make himself available for the Growling Tigers’ vacancy.
Barring any hiccup, Ayo could find himself in an ideal situation to prove once again that he really has what it takes to turn things around for the struggling UST program, much like what he did to his alma mater Letran which he led to the 2015 NCAA title.
The Growling Tigers, who ended up on the tail-end of the UAAP tourney in the last two years, are in for a strong bounce back showing with the impending return of scoring forward Embons Bonleon and spitfire guard Renzo Subido.
Top guard Marvin Lee is also set for another tour of duty along with Jordan Sta. Ana, Regie Boy Basibas, Vaughn Soriano and Cameroon big man Steve Akomo, giving Ayo enough pieces to contend – at least for a Final Four spot.