It’s now official. Aldin Ayo will be making his leap to the PBA as the newly minted head coach of Converge, the team announced in a statement on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Photo from UAAP

Ayo said that he got his blessing from his mother who wanted to see him in the PBA after a fruitful, albeit controversial run in the collegiate ranks. It can be recalled that Ayo resigned from his position as head trainer of the Chooks Pilipinas 3×3 team to attend to his ailing mother.

When news broke out regarding his hiring to Converge, Ayo denied it by saying that he wanted to consult his mother first about his decision.

“I talked to her last night. And this morning she told me, ‘Gusto kita makita mag-coach sa PBA.’ She said she doesn’t want to see me just sitting around the house,” said Ayo in a statement.

He will be taking over for Jeff Cariaso, who was one of the holdovers when Converge bought the Alaska franchise before the start of the Season 48.

“In the PBA, everyone will be given the chance to be competitive because of the drafting. In terms of winning, aabot at aabot ka doon but the objective is how to achieve it the soonest. Heading the team isn’t an achievement for me, it’s actually a responsibility. Rest assured, we’re going to do our best and hopefully, it’ll be enough to win us a championship,” added Ayo who previously won an NCAA title with Letran in 2015 and UAAP championship with La Salle in 2016.

His success in the collegiate ranks however didn’t come without humps – first, his controversial jump from Letran to La Salle, and the last one, the infamous “Sorsogon Bubble” which led in his indefinite ban in the UAAP.

Nonetheless, Ayo had the support of Converge big bosses in team owner Dennis Anthony Uy and team Governor Chito Salud who are optimistic that the team will reach new heights right on its second conference in the PBA under the new leadership.

“The PBA is a challenge that every coach on the rise dreams of taking on. We are confident that Coach Ayo’s nose and instinct for the game’s nuances will transform the FiberXers’ brand of play into a consistently competitive and exciting kind worthy of the Filipino fans’ approval and following,” said Salud.

“We are excited with what he brings to the table. We’ve had the chance to discuss the direction of our team and the vision that we have regarding our brand of play. We have young players with energy and potential who are ready to compete as a team still finding chemistry and its identity. We believe Coach Ayo has the background to develop these players into an exciting and cohesive unit,” Uy said of Ayo who will get reunited with his former college players Kevin Racal from Letran and Jeron Teng from La Salle in Converge.

Source: Manila Bulletin (