Coaches of the Year Jarin and Ayo have come a long way

Coaches of the Year Jarin and Ayo have come a long way
IT FEELS SO GOOD. Aldin Ayo and Jamike Jarin actually go way back.

When Aldin Ayo was just starting out with his coaching career in Sorsogon, Jamike Jarin was already a multi-titled mentor with Ateneo de Manila High School.

And back then, Jarin’s winning tradition was one of the things Ayo hoped to emulate.

So much so that the Bicolano traveled far and wide just to catch the 46-year-old’s coaching clinics in Manila. As he shared, “From Sorsogon, I drove for 14 hours just to attend his talk (in Manila).”

Fast forward more than a few years later, Ayo is already a multi-titled mentor himself – and in both the top collegiate leagues in the country, nonetheless. In fact, the two were feted as the Coaches of the Year in the annual Collegiate Awards last Thursday.

That Jarin was one of the influences for the now 39-year-old makes their rivalry even more compelling.

When Ayo was at the forefront for Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Jarin was at the helm of San Beda College in 2015, they split their head-to-head matchups at three wins apiece. They were so even that the former had to quip back then, “I find (coaching against Jarin) very interesting kasi may ginagawa siyang natutuwa ako. Natutuwa ako kasi alam kong ginagawa niya dahil galing siya sa grassroots.”

He also added, “Ganun din ako. Basically, parehas kami ng ginagawa.”

When the Sorsogon native transferred from Intramuros to Taft Avenue, however, the rivalry was postponed.

The good news is that now, the two will be reunited in the UAAP. Ayo will be back to defend the title of De La Salle University while Jarin will be at the helm of hungry National University.

However, the Bulldogs’ new mentor was quick to downplay their perceived rivalry. “I think everybody is excited because we bring a lot of excitement to the game, but it’s not just coach Aldin, it’s not just coach Jamike. We’re not playing one-on-one basketball,” he said.

He then continued, “I’m happy that it brings color, but we’re just here to mentor these young kids and bring glory to the schools we represent.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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