Matthew Aquino easing into Japan B.League grind | Inquirer Sports

Matthew Aquino easing into Japan B.League grind

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 08:01 PM October 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—It will take some time for Matthew Aquino to debut in the Japan B.League as Shinshu head coach Michael Katsuhisa wants his new center to be as ready as possible.

In an interview with Lionel Piguet of Kansai Sport, Katsuhisa said that Aquino still has to learn the Brave Warriors’ system and the 6-foot-8 center has to get into peak shape before takes the court.


“He had been quarantined for two weeks and he had not played five-on-five for three months back home; and it’s going to take a long time for him to learn our system,” said Katsuhisa. “He’s only had a few contact practices with us so far. With the All-Japan and the tight schedule, it doesn’t allow us to have too many contact practices.”


“He’s going to have to learn through non-live drills, walkthroughs, and video sessions. He has to learn and pick it up that way.”

Aquino, whose mother is of Japanese descent, arrived in Japan at the start of October and was only able to join the Brave Warriors on the 14th as he had to undergo the mandatory quarantine.

Despite Aquino’s delayed debut, Katsuhisa is intrigued with Aquino’s skillset and his potential contribution to the team.

“He will contribute in practice and, hopefully, he will be ready when we need him. As I said, I am intrigued by his skill set and I’m looking forward to the day that I can throw him out there. He has to learn our system and everything first,” said Katsuhisa.

“What I’m saying is it will take time. He knows that I’m excited about him. Great guy, very intrigued by his skillset. But when we talked through Zoom, he understood what it meant to be a Japanese big man in this league.”

Katsuhisa will also have the luxury of employing Aquino on a regular rotation as the big man’s Japanese ancestry allows him to play as a local.

“Before, when we were only allowed to have only two imports in a game, the need for a Japanese big man was huge. Playing time was a guarantee. Now, when you can rotate your three guys at the four and the five spot, it’s tough.”

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TAGS: Japan B.League, Matthew Aquino, Shinshu Brave Warriors

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