10 August 2022 – THE CONVERGE FiberXers remain focused on its preparations for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup even as the youngest franchise in the professional league announces changes in its team leadership.
PBA great Jeff Cariaso has formally bid the team farewell as its head coach and will be replaced by former University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) winning coach Aldin Ayo.
“I would like to personally thank Coach Jeff for the competitive spirit that he has instilled in our players. His experience as a player with an illustrious career undoubtedly inspired our young team to reach the playoff stage in our very first conference at the PBA,” said Converge CEO and FiberXers team owner Dennis Anthony Uy.
Converge FiberXers team manager and PBA Governor Chito Salud wished Cariaso luck and the best of basketball in the coming years. “Jeff did a great job for Converge. He is a fine coach and a true gentleman. His significant insights and qualitative understanding of the game will serve him well in his next assignment,” Atty. Salud said.
Moving forward, the Converge FiberXers welcomed its new head coach, Aldin Ayo, who served as coach of the Letran Knights when it won the NCAA championship in 2015 and the La Salle Green Archers which snagged the UAAP championship in 2016. He was appointed as head coach of the Chooks-to-Go’s 3×3 program in November 2020 that led the team to win the 2020 FIBA 3×3 Asia Pacific Super Quest, the first Philippine team to win a FIBA 3×3 Men’s Pro Circuit title.
Coach Ayo said it was his mother who convinced him to take the job as the new head coach of the Converge FiberXers. “I talked to her last night. And this morning she told me, ‘Gusto kita makita mag-coach sa PBA.’ She said she doesn’t want to see me just sitting around the house.”
Staying true to his winning mentality, the legendary coach isn’t planning to waste time in getting his players in shape. “In the PBA, everyone will be given the chance to be competitive because of the drafting. In terms of winning, aabot at aabot ka doon but the objective is how to achieve it the soonest.”
“Heading the team isn’t an achievement for me, it’s actually a responsibility. Rest assured, we’re going to do our best and hopefully, it’ll be enough to win us a championship,” he said.
Salud noted that Coach Ayo is eager to bring his passion and enthusiasm for basketball to the next level. “The PBA is a challenge that every coach on the rise dreams of taking on. We are confident that Coach Ayo’s nose and instinct for the game’s nuances will transform the FiberXers’ brand of play into a consistently competitive and exciting kind worthy of the Filipino fans’ approval and following,” he said.
“We are excited with what he brings to the table. We’ve had the chance to discuss the direction of our team and the vision that we have regarding our brand of play. We have young players with energy and potential who are ready to compete as a team still finding chemistry and its identity. We believe Coach Ayo has the background to develop these players into an exciting and cohesive unit,” team owner Uy said.
Forward Kevin Racal, who won a championship during his Letran days under the tutelage of Coach Ayo, expects the team to build an iron-clad defense in preparation for the next conference.
“He wants his players to be ready to defend. Kahit sino pwede maka-score but yung defense ang importante. Hopefully makakuha tayo ng championship, and masundan nang masundan,” he said.
Jeron Teng, who likewise scored a championship under Coach Ayo during his collegiate basketball career in De La Salle University, said: “I’m super excited to work with Coach Aldin. Nag-sama kami noon sa La Salle and thankfully we won a championship, so his system really works.”
The team resumed practice last August 8 to prepare for the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup which is slated to open on September 21, 2022.