Since Aldin Ayo took over, things have started to look better for La Salle.
And that should bode well for the Green Archers who are aching to redeem themselves in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tourney.
“Malaki talaga ang pinagbago nu’ng pumasok si coach Aldin,” shared sophomore forward J-Boy Gob following La Salle’s impressive 98-88 victory over Adamson during the opener of the 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup over the weekend. “Sa sistema pa lang, malaking pagbabago na pati na rin sa attitude namin as players. Maganda talaga kasi positive lahat ng nangyari.”
Even the 6-foot-5 Gob appears to have gained a lot following Ayo’s arrival last December.
Hardly utilized by former coach Juno Sauler last year when he played for a single UAAP game on his freshman year, Gob has been thriving in Ayo’s system, underscored by his efficient 20-point performance anchored on a near-flawless 9-of-10 shooting from the field on top of seven rebounds and a steal in 24 minutes of play.
“J-Boy has been doing well,” said Ayo, 38.
“Si J-Boy magpi-fit sa amin kasi ‘yung mga tira namin, mga floaters tapos ang laki ng kamay ng bata. Physically, kayang-kaya niya maglaro.
“Maganda ‘yung ugali ng bata. Sobrang sipag. At kaya ng katawan niya. Kaya walang ibang pupuntuhan ‘yun kung hindi mag-improve,” he added. “But since hindi siya masyadong nagamit last season, in terms of decision-making, tinatrabaho namin.”
Gob admitted he intends to repay the trust given by Ayo who he considers as a “great motivator.”
“Ako naman, kahit anong role ang ibibigay sa akin ni coach okay lang. Kahit ano ang maitutulong ko sa team, ibibigay ko,” said the former La Salle-Greenhills standout.
“Sa akin kailangan talaga siyang i-embrace kasi ‘yun ang bagong identity namin. Gusto rin naman namin ‘yun kaya kami ang nagkusa na mag-adjust,” he added.
After being a non-factor in the Green Archers’ disappointing campaign in the UAAP last year, Gob plans to make the most of his exposure in the prestigious summer cage league to make himself more prepared for bigger battles ahead.
“Marami pa akong kailangan i-improve personally. Sana dito sa FilOil makuha ko ‘yung experience para sa UAAP. Matagal pa naman ‘yung season,” he said. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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