UAAP: Did DLSU lose big on Ayo’s exit?

The De La Salle University Green Archers may seem tender at the moment with the departure of Aldin Ayo who moved to the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers. Ayo gained prominence winning the NCAA (with Letran) and UAAP men’s basketball titles though it was not solely him who orchestrated those feats.

Ayo may be seen as the one calling the shots, a symbolic figure when the games are on. However, most overlook his lieutenants present to guide him. One of his deputies, Louie Gonzales, opted to stay and he was amply rewarded by DLSU godfather Danding Cojuangco. Gonzales was named the new head coach though most lack the confidence, mostly because he spent most of the time away from the spotlight.

Who is the real author of the “Mayhem Defense?”

Changes are expected to be set for the Green Archers as they try to redeem themselves from a heartbreaking UAAP Season 80 campaign. Gonzales will be in the hot seat though some may have failed to overlook an important fact – Gonzales is the original author of “Mayhem Defense.”

These claims come no less from DLSU insiders. However, this is not to say that Ayo’s career flourished at the expense of Gonzales. The temperamental coach does have ample coaching knowledge, and he can prove that at UST. The Growling Tigers are expected to employ the same kind of defense in UAAP Season 81.

The Archers are also expected to stick to the same defensive matrix, and the real challenge for Gonzales is to expound on plays. He is best known as a defensive coach, so most are hoping to see additional plays on both ends of the court.

Gonzales’ ability to adjust

One glaring observation during UAAP Season 80 is that Ayo seemed to struggle to adjust to opponents. “Mayhem Defense” worked although things went haywire when opposing teams were able to work around it. The best example is the Ateneo Blue Eagles who were able to solve the dreaded defensive ploy.

Gonzales has the golden opportunity to prove he can adjust to game situations. The Green Archers are in transition and part of this is developing new changes moving forward.

Thriving through a united DLSU community

Ayo drew heat from the DLSU community, mostly taking exception at his brash and cocky personality. Gonzales may slowly find himself headed in that direction if he is not careful.

This early, however, inside sources from the DLSU camp have spilled internal game plans. This includes uniting all DLSU schools (LSGH and DLSU-Zobel) through coaching spots for better player recruitments and transition.

Recall how Ayo wanted full control of the DLSU basketball program, something that UST was able to give him. He could have gotten that had he made the right approach. Gonzales may be on to something with the move, inadvertently tapping on the high schools for the continued development of DLSU basketball.

So rather than a dictatorship (something initially perceived by affected teams), Gonzales has come up with a democratic way to unite the DLSU community.

All this hardly makes sense for now. Most are concerned about what lies ahead for DLSU under the watch of Gonzales. If the revelations do come to fruition, DLSU should remain a favorite even with the loss of key players like Ben Mbala and Abu Tratter.