Former National University big man Matt Aquino is now the ninth Filipino in the Japan B. League after signing a contract with the Shinshu Brave Warriors on Friday, October 15.
However, unlike his eight compatriot imports before him, the son of the legendary Marlou Aquino will take up one of many local roster spots in the pro league since he has Japanese lineage on his mother’s side.
“I would like to thank coach Michael [Katsuhisa] and the Shinshu Brave Warriors team for giving me the opportunity to play,” he said in a translation of the team statement.
“I would like to thank you for your hard work in daily practice and games and for believing in me and [letting me join.].”’
The 25-year-old big man plied his craft in the PBA D-League before hopping over to the Bacoor Strikers of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, where he formed a historic father-son duo with Marlou in the 2019-2020 season.
“I’m ready, I’ve been preparing my whole life for something like this, and I’m here to make God, my family and everyone else proud. I’m very excited to come to Japan and can’t wait to meet everybody, especially the [fans]!” the younger Aquino said.
Per the team statement, although the 6-foot-9 beanpole already completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine for new arrivals, he is not yet expected to debut for the team in this weekend’s back-to-back slate against Alvark Tokyo.
He will likely get a shot to crack the rotation during Shinshu’s next back-to-back games against Osaka Evessa on Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24. – Rappler.com