Ayo on DLSU-FEU flare-up: ‘Sila nagsimula, sila napikon’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 05, 2016 09:10 PM
ALPHA AND OMEGA. Aldin Ayo said his DLSU players were just protecting themselves from the physical play of FEU.
De La Salle University was quick to clarify that they weren’t the cause of the cancellation of their tune-up game with Far Eastern University last Thursday.
“Sila yung nanguna e. Kung titignan mo yung starting five nila, alam ko na na mananakit ang mga 'to,” coach Aldin Ayo expressed.
According to spectators inside the San Juan Arena, the Green Archers and the Tamaraws didn’t seem to be in a tune-up game. Instead, physical play ruled the day with several players, particularly Cameroonian student-athlete Ben Mbala, complaining about extra-curricular activities by their opponents.
Things got even testier in second half when DLSU players began throwing the ball in the vicinity of where FEU coach Nash Racela was standing. After a few times when the ball hit the head coach, assistant coach Eric Gonzales was said to have rushed towards Ayo and the two exchanged words.
Near the end of the third quarter, the Tamaraws were slapped with three flagrant fouls close to each other. During the free throws of the last flagrant foul was where the two teams decided to call off the matchup with the Green Archers way ahead, 92-75.
Narrating their side of the story, Ayo shared that it was the FEU staff led by Gonzales who walked to the middle of the court to talk about ending the game prematurely. “Oo, sumugod sila. Although ni-meet namin sila sa gitna, sila yung unang lumapit sa amin,” he said.
He then continued, “Ito na nga yun e. Sila na nag-umpisa, sila yung napikon tapos sila pa yung sumugod sa bench namin.”
Re-emphasizing that his players were only reacting to what was being done unto them, the DLSU mentor said, “Sinuntok ni (Monbert) Arong si Jeron (Teng) tapos ni-flying kick din ni (Raymar) Jose si Ben. Actually lahat ng players ko, nasaktan at yung mga players ko, hindi rin naman aatras.”
He then continued, “Hindi naman gagawa ang mga (player ko) nang kung ano-ano. Ang gagawin lang nila ay protektahan yung sarili nila at kahit naman anong mangyari, maglalaro pa rin sila ng basketball.”
Ayo then went on to call out the Tamaraw staff’s failure to put a leash on their wards. “Yung players ng kalaban namin, under the responsibility ng opposing coach. Yung kahapon, malinaw na malinaw na yung gameplan nila ay saktan at i-provoke yung mga bata (ko),” he expressed.
The 38-year-old also did not take too kindly to several instances when FEU coaches were seen yelling at the hulking Mbala. “Coach ka, tapos nakikipag-trash talk ka sa mga players ng opposing team? Sa tingin ko, hindi tama yun,” he said.
In the end, however, Ayo said he knew what the Tamaraws were trying to do. As he put it, “Siguro ang objective nila, galitin kami para pagdating ng UAAP, matakot kami. Pero hindi naman mangyayari yun kasi lagi kong sinasabi sa mga bata na i-absorb na lang nila and make sure na naka-focus kayo.”
For his part, however, FEU’s Racela said they did nothing wrong in the cancelled tune-up game.
The Tamaraws will be commencing their title defense in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Season coming in a month’s time. Coming hard at them are the Archers who boast of a fully-loaded lineup and a coach coming off a championship campaign in the NCAA.
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