Broken. Shattered. That is the collective feeling shared by every Thomasian after their dear Growling Tigers got bamboozled by defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, 101-51, Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena. The 50-point shellacking was one for the books, unfortunately. It was the biggest margin of defeat since the UAAP started the computerization of its statistics in 2002.
On the other playing day against the De Salle Green Archers, UST gave up a season-high 112 points in a 112-83 defeat against the boys from Taft. Calls for the reinstatement of former head coach Aldin Ayo resurfaced on the internet in a form of a petition after the successive humiliating defeats of the Tigers against its formidable rivals. As of this writing according to a report published by The Varsitarian, the petition has garnered nearly 1,500 signatures.
What is happening to the UST Growling Tigers? Let’s get this one straight. The team—coaches and players alike—are like a boyfriend left hanging in the air and waiting for his ex to come back. Looking at how the team played against DLSU and Ateneo, their body language showed lack of purpose and direction, their minds thinking of the what ifs. But Ayo was not there and will not be at least in the foreseeable future. No, the ex is not back and will not be back.
UST must move on from Ayo and from the ghost of 2020. Ayo himself has since moved on, signing with the 3×3 program backed by Chooks-to-Go. UST must not dwell on what was but hope for what will be, with another coach, a coach together with a staff that is not connected to what had damaged the current. UST can only move forward if it will free itself from that past.
Before it is too late, let Ayo coach… somewhere else. Let his staff coach… somewhere else. Let us wish them luck as they also start over. Let UST be free from the ghost of 2020 because moving on will not be possible without exorcising the ghost that has been holding back the team and the community. Let go. Let Ayo coach somewhere else.