Former National University (NU) center Matthew Aquino will be the latest Filipino to make an appearance in Japan B. League after Shinshu Brave Warriors announced his commitment to the team on Friday, October 15.

/ 17 October 2021

Unlike the other eight imports, the 6-foot-7 cager will take up one of many local roster spots in the Japan professional league since he has Japanese bloodline rooted in his grandmother.

“I would like to express my gratitude to coach Michael [Katsuhisa] and to the Shinshu Brave Warriors organization for this opportunity to play for you. I am incredibly grateful for the faith you have given me, I will make sure to return it with my effort in every practice and game,” said Aquino in the team’s statement.

“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 boosters,” he added.

The son of PBA great Marlou Aquino played with NU Bulldogs in his collegiate career before he suited up for Bacoor City Strikers in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) where he teamed up with his father.

Aquino has completed his mandatory 14-day quarantine in Japan and he will accompany his teammates for their games on Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17 against Alvark Tokyo.

Aquino is expected to make his debut next week when Shinshu faces Osaka Evessa on Oct. 23 and 24 at Ookini Arena in Maishima.

“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,” Aquino said.