Tratter on Ayo: ‘I never had a coach that believed in me’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 24, 2016 09:23 PM
FATHER FIGURE. After Abu Tratter had back-to-back turnovers, Aldin Ayo gave him a hug instead of a sermon.
De La Salle University coach Aldin Ayo, as he is wont to do, waxed philosophical after their victory versus Adamson University on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
“Kung sino nasa baba, yun ang pupulutin namin,” he expressed.
The quote doesn’t seem to fit a Green Archer side that has seemed to do all the right things en route to winning all of their five outings in the season.
Like they always say, however, no one is perfect – even fully-loaded DLSU who have dominated anyone and everyone standing in their way. “Every time my player commits a mistake, kailangang maipakita ko sa kanya na special siya,” Ayo continued.
The one-time NCAA champion coach did just that in the third quarter after Abu Tratter bumbled the ball in what would have been easy makes in back-to-back possessions.
Following the latter turnover, the Soaring Falcons called a timeout and then Ayo rushed towards a comebacking Tratter and gave him a bearhug full of biceps.
Narrating the lighthearted moment, the Green Archers’ mentor said, “Abu was very down kaya buti na lang nagkaroon ng deadball. I was able to tell Abu, ‘Next play, we’re going to you.’”
He then continued, repeating it thrice for emphasis, “And he delivered, he delivered, he delivered.”
Indeed, after a defensive stop, the six-foot-six big man willed his way into an easy basket. Post-game, he acknowledged that he wouldn’t have done so if not for his coach. “(The bearhug) was very comforting. Going to the bench, all I felt was a big hug coming at me,” he said.
He continued, “I looked and it was coach and I was like, ‘Wow!’ It’s very encouraging.”
Tratter then went on to say that the bearhug wasn’t the first time he felt Ayo’s faith in him. As he put it, “I haven’t had a coach like that. I’ve had good coaches, but I never really had a coach that believed in me.”
He also added, “Not only me, not just the starting five, he believes in everybody. It’s really comforting to have a coach like that.”
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