Matthew Aquino signs multiyear deal to in play in B. League as local
MANILA, Philippines—Matthew Aquino became the latest Filipino player to join the Japan B.League after he signed a three-year contract with B1 team Shinshu Brave Warriors.
The son of PBA legend Marlou Aquino, however, won’t be listed as an Asian import and instead will play as a local as his maternal grandmother is Japanese.
“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 I can’t wait to meet everybody, especially the fans!” said Aquino in the team’s statement.
“Of course I’m really. I’m very blessed because only a few people are given this opportunity,” added the former National University center.
Aquino is the seventh Filipino player to join B1 after Thirdy Ravena of San-En, Kiefer Ravena of Shiga, Dwight Ramos of Toyama, Kobe Paras of Niigata, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. of Nagoya, and Javi Gomez de Liaño of Ibaraki.
Juan Gomez de Liaño of Tokyo Z and Kemark Cariño of Aomori are playing in B2.
Aquino has already trained with Brave Warriors head coach Michael Katsuhisa, who also serves as the club’s general manager, and has met team president and CEO Masahiko Katagai.
Shinshu, which was promoted to B1 two seasons ago, is willing to invest in Aquino and the 6-foot-10 center is ready to repay the trust he’s been given.
“We were surprised with the three-year offer,” said Aquino. “Right now the goal is to improve everyday and take it step-by-step. I just want to improve myself because I still have a lot to prove, not just to others but to myself.”