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Salinggawi Dance Troupe eyes 9th championship, aims to gain back Thomasians’ trust

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The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe placed fourth in last year's UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Photo by Kennelf Monteza/TomasinoWeb.

With an apparent decrease of school spirit after the Growling Tiger’s unfortunate last-place finish, the much-supported Salinggawi Dance Troupe desires to bring back the trust of the Thomasian community in their athletes by aiming to win at this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition.

“Gusto naming mabalik ‘yung tiwala ng mga Thomasians sa mga atleta nila kasi since nangyari ‘yung sa basketball team natin, parang nawala ‘yung trust nila sa mga athletes nila. Gusto lang namin ibalik ‘yung trust nila in a way, by showcasing our talent and by winning,” Salinggawi president and captain Benjo Gutierrez told TomasinoWeb.

Despite missing the podium last season, Gutierrez remained positive, channeled this as an inspiration, and had even higher hopes for the team this year by eyeing not only a podium finish but their ninth championship.

“Ang iexpect nalang ng Thomasian crowd, or ng iba pang fans ng cheerleading, is a much more fiercer, a much more bolder, and mas matapang na Salinggawi Dance Troupe,” he said.

The Salinggawi Dance Troupe has been preparing since July, and two days away from their competition day, Gutierrez claimed that the team is already 95 percent ready.

“Nagprepare kami syempre bukod sa physically tsaka mentally, emotionally din tsaka spiritually. Kasi medyo maraming challenges na dumating sa amin as a team and as individuals, pero na-manage naman naming isurpass sila lahat,” he explained.

New head coach

With Salinggawi alumnus Mark Anthony Chaiwalla being appointed as new cheer coach, the team is bound to experience some changes and adjustments from their five-year stint with ex-coach Ramon Pagaduan IV.

“Syempre first year niya (Chaiwalla) sa’min, tapos ‘yung mga dating members naabutan si coach Ramon, rocky masyado eh kasi parang hindi nagm-match. Hindi namin siya gets minsan, minsan hindi niya kami gets, pero na-manage na naman namin na magcompromise,” Gutierrez stated.

Despite claiming their relationship as “rocky,” Gutierrez praised Chaiwalla for his “act of boldness” and for trying to bring out the best in each of the team’s members.

“Hindi niya kami kino-constrict. Gusto niya kaming maging best versions ng self namin,” he ended.

The much-awaited UAAP Season 80 Cheerdance Competition will happen on tomorrow, Dec. 2, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

by Gillian Patricia Geronimo

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Basketball

‘Mayhem’ system gone as Ayo opts for ‘Tigers Defense’

The Growling Tigers’ new head coach deemed it fitting that there should be a new technique for a new team.

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Photo by Darryl Lance Limpin/TomasinoWeb

The Growling Tigers’ newly-appointed head coach Aldin Ayo expressed his excitement to work with the Tigers under a new system he called “Tigers Defense.”

Ayo deemed it fitting that there should be a new technique for a new team thus, he no longer wants to use the famous “Mayhem Defense.” He introduced the “Tigers Defense” instead, which he sees is more suited for UST.

“Ayokong gamitin yung Mayhem eh. Preferably, I want to use UST Tigers Defense, kasi ‘yun ang team ngayon. We depend on effort. We depend on how motivated we are in playing defense, and of course, the coaching staff will provide a system improved by the technique,” Ayo told TomasinoWeb.

Having been a coach for the past three years, he claimed that the two “defense” techniques will still surely be different because the system is “evolving.”

“This time it will be better kasi we’re going to learn from mistakes. There will be adjustments and definitely, ‘yung adjustments na ‘yon will improve our system,” he quipped.

Ayo, who was able to clinch a championship for the Letran Knights in NCAA 2015 and the Green Archers in UAAP the following year, will face a daunting task of rebuilding a team coming off their worst UAAP season.

Despite the pressure of bringing the Tigers back to the Final Four, Ayo made sure that he will unleash the Tigers’ potential to become better on the court.

“We’re just going to maximize everything na meron sa’tin, and we’ll make sure na these players get better and we maximize their potential na makapaglaro sila nang maayos,” he quipped. “We’re going to get better. We’re going to be the hardest working team. Magtatrabaho kami then let’s see kung ano magiging resulta,” Ayo claimed.

by Cyreel Gian Zarate and Gillian Patricia Geronimo

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Bonleon, Subido happy to return under Coach Ayo

The Growling Tigers have already started their training sessions with Aldin Ayo yesterday.

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Mario Bonleon and Renzo Subido are both thrilled for the anticipated debut of their new tactician Aldin Ayo as part of the Growling Tigers in the next UAAP season.

The gunners have expressed their desire to get back to business last November, after the resignation of former head coach Boy Sablan (READ: Bonleon, Subido to return for Tigers after Sablan quits)and are now gearing for their comeback after UST recently confirmed that Ayo will now call the shots for the Tigers (READ: Former Archers coach officially set to lead Tigers).

Bonleon, who will be on his last playing year next season, showed his willingness to develop his game with the help of Ayo.

“Sobrang happy ako na nandiyan si Coach Aldin kasi this is my last year, and makakatulong siya sa pag-akyat ko sa PBA,” Bonleon told TomasinoWeb. “Yung mga weaknesses ko sa defense at hustle, ayun ang strength niya as a coach, so I will learn a lot from him.”

In terms of the team’s preparations, Bonleon claims to be mentally ready as he is expecting a tough training under Ayo’s guidance.

Subido, on the other hand, is all hyped up on what the future holds for the Tigers now that Ayo is suited up as their new headmaster.

“I’m excited to play for UST under Coach Aldin. I think the type of system he has would suit the type of players that UST has,” Subido uttered. “With Coach Aldin now being the head coach, it’s gonna be great for the team.”

Coming back with a newfound confidence, Subido expects that “when practice starts, it’s all business.”

“Everyone will have one goal and that is to bring UST back on top, and practice will have lots of energy and excitement,” he exclaimed.

The Tigers have already started their training sessions with Ayo yesterday, Jan. 12.

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Former Archers coach officially set to lead Tigers

UST cited Aldin Ayo’s discipline-based basketball program “that gives primary importance to the academic life of the student-athletes” and his desire to coach the Growling Tigers on a “modest salary scheme” as key reasons for his hiring.

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Photo courtesy of Richard Esguerra/ABS-CBN Sports.

It is official: UST has confirmed on Monday, Jan. 8, that former Green Archers headmaster Aldin Ayo will lead the Growling Tigers next season as the team’s new head coach, formally taking over the post left vacant by Boy Sablan after he resigned last November.

In a statement released on the official Facebook page of the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics, UST said it sought Ayo’s coaching services knowing that his contract with the Archers bound him to La Salle only until the end of 2017.

The University cited Ayo’s discipline-based basketball program “that gives primary importance to the academic life of the student-athletes” and his desire to coach the Tigers on a “modest salary scheme” as key reasons for his hiring.

“We in UST actively collaborate with individuals who can help us fulfill our vision to form student-athletes to become not only competitive in their chosen fields, but more importantly respectful of their competitors,” the statement continued.

Last Jan. 2, Ayo took to Twitter to address reports of his exit from the Taft-based squad. The LaSalllian confirmed his departure the following day. Meanwhile, Ayo confirmed his move to España in a report by the Varsitarian last Jan. 5.

Ayo has played for the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, who won back-to-back championships in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 1998 and 1999.

He was awarded NCAA Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading the Knights to another NCAA title. The following year, Ayo bagged a UAAP title for the Archers.

The Tigers amassed just four wins and suffered 24 losses in two full UAAP seasons under Sablan. Their dismal single-win record this season was their worst since 1989. The whole coaching staff, together with Sablan, were relieved from their duties effective Nov. 30.

Following Sablan’s resignation, Mario Bonleon and Renzo Subido are now gearing for their comeback after refusing to play for the Tigers this season (READ: Bonleon, Subido to return for Tigers after Sablan quits).

TomasinoWeb has sought Ayo for comment but he is yet to respond as of press time.

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