Ayo impresses in PBA coaching debut as Converge blasts Terrafirma

Coach Aldin Ayo clinches his first-ever win in the PBA. (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Coach Aldin Ayo’s stint with the Converge FiberXers is off to a good start after a convincing win against the Terrafirma Dyip, 124-110, during his coaching debut in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Tagged as the “Master of Mayhem” of Philippine collegiate basketball, Ayo proved he was the right man for the job after grabbing his first win in his first-ever professional coaching stint against the more experienced Johnedel Cardel.

It was a slow start for Ayo and his wards as Converge shot poorly from the field despite getting good looks from the field.

The FiberXers were executing on offense but just couldn’t buy a basket which was quickly capitalized on by Terrafirma led by the returning Alex Cabagnot who was out for almost a year due to a torn Achilles injury.

The FiberXers finally managed to turn things around in the third quarter and uncorked a 22-6 run that helped them retake the lead, 89-73, with 1:33 remaining in the quarter.

Converge’s import Quincy Miller had a fiery debut and finished with 38 big points, 16 rebounds, and five assists.

Before the game, Miller shared that it was coach Ayo who encouraged him about the brand of basketball Filipinos wanted to play.

Ayo said that Miller must be prepared for the physicality in the PBA and must compose himself in all situations which he did in their first game against the Dyip.

“It was very physical. I already knew it was going to be physical, but EuroLeague is physical as well, so I just kind of mentally prepared and came into the second half a little more aggressive,” said Miller.

True to his word entering the season, Ayo tweaked Converge’s offense with a faster pace which was evident during their win against Terrafirma.

The FiberXers scored 124 points in four quarters, tallying 98 points in the last three cantos and averaged 31 points per quarter in their opening game.

Ayo’s approach was completely different from former head coach Jeffrey Cariaso’s coaching style where he played the team with more half-court sets.

This is just the start of Ayo’s young career in the professional scene and is hungrier for more wins in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.