NCAA 95: Coach Aldin: 'Hindi mawawala yung pagiging Letranista'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 10, 2019 06:53 PM
Coach Aldin: 'Hindi mawawala yung pagiging Letranista'
Aldin Ayo and the core of the championship team of Letran in 2015 were in attendance in their alma mater's rivalry game against San Beda in NCAA 95 (Photo by Josh Albelda)

Colegio de San Juan de Letran last won against archrival San Beda University in Game 3 of the NCAA 91 Men's Basketball Tournament Finals - when the former got the championship at the expense of the latter.

Fast forward almost five years and that title-winning team made its presence felt for the blue and red anew.

Letran's core from 2015 pulled off almost perfect attendance on Saturday with head coach Aldin Ayo, JP Calvo, Mark Cruz, Mcjour Luib, Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, and Kevin Racal all present inside the Cuneta Astrodome.

From then to now, coach Aldin sees nothing but the same sort of charge by the Knights. "Iba na ang mga players except for Jerrick [Balanza], pero if there's one thing that's constant, yung community. Nandoon pa rin yung suporta, nandoon pa rin yung 'Arriba,'" he said, referring to Jerrick Balanza who was then a rookie in their championship run and is now playing out his fifth and final year.

He then continued, "In terms of how they play, it's different, pero sa ugali ng players, I think it didn't change. Magpalit man ng sistema at ng coaches, yung tradition, nandun na yun. Hindi mawawala yung magiging Letranista."

And that fight, even though it ended up in a loss, will be all the Intramuros-based team needs for another breakthrough.

After all, that was all that Coach Aldin's agents of "Mayhem" counted on in their Cinderella story four years ago. "Of course, masarap sa pakiramdam na babalik sa ganito. Before ka umalis, you were successful and the players, they take pride in what they were able to accomplish," the fiery mentor said.

He then continued, "Siyempre, we are hoping na maulit and that's why we're here to support them."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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