MATTHEW Aquino, son of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) veteran Marlou Aquino, has just become the ninth Filipino to play basketball in the Japanese B.League.
The Division 1 team Shinshu Brave Warriors announced on Friday that they have signed a three-year contract with Aquino starting with the 2021-2022 season.
Entering the weekend games on Saturday, Shinshu holds a 2-2 win-loss card in the league.
Aquino, however, was not signed under the Asian player quota system. He plays in the B.League as a local and not as an import like the other eight Filipino basketball players in Japan.
Why is that?
Aquino has a Japanese lineage from his dam’s side.
Aquino’s grandmother, whose last name is Toma, is Japanese and her daughter – Aquino’s mother – is a Japanese citizen. Thus, Aquino is recognized as a local player according to the rules of the B.League.
The 6-foot-8 Aquino played college basketball at National University, averaging 3.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game in the UAAP.
He then played for the Bacoor Strikers in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), where he teamed up with his father Marlou during the 2019-2020 season. They became the first father-son pair to play for the same team in the same league at the same time.
In the MPBL, Matthew normalized 3.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game.
The other Filipinos currently playing in the B.League are Dwight Ramos, Ray Parks Jr., Kemark Cariño, Kobe Paras, brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño, and brothers Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena.