Diego Dario didn't quit and now, he has busted out for UP in UAAP 81

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 21, 2018 08:41 PM
Diego Dario didn't quit and now, he has busted out for UP
In warding off self-doubt, Diego Dario lived up to being a UP Fighting Maroon

Safe to say, Diego Dario’s first two years in the UAAP were better than his last two years.

The pint-sized playmaker averaged 8.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 17.5 minutes in Seasons 77 and 78 and then normed 3.8 markers and 1.3 boards in 11.9 minutes in Seasons 79 and 80.

And so, Dario only acknowledged that the last two seasons have not been kind to him. “It’s been tough for me the past three years. There were times na I thought na I’m not meant for basketball already,” he shared.

He then continued, “Let’s say after a bad game, after a bad practice, it was difficult talaga.”

Staying true to their monicker, however, the now 21-year-old fought and fought to prove he belonged in basketball. “I kept on working, extra hours after practice and even game days. I believed that hard work pays off,” he said.

Finally, Dario’s hard work finally paid off on Sunday as he scored 13 points to help UP to a much-needed victory versus University of the East. “Long time coming. I’ve been working hard for games like this,” he said.

In fact, it was the backup point guard who fired eight straight points to detonate a 17-2 blast that increased a one-point lead to an 80-64 advantage for his team inside the last six minutes. Nothing but appreciative of his effort, head coach Bo Perasol said post-game, “I’d like to commend Diego and Bright [Akhuetie] for stepping up. They played to their potential.”

For Dario, though, this is only the beginning for better and better games from him. As he put it, “Yeah, you could say that this is just the start. I just have to do my role.”

That is even truer now he is one of the veterans in a Fighting Maroons side on a quest to end its more than two decade-long playoff drought. “Also, I have to help lead the team since I’m a senior now. I want to end this season by getting to the Final Four,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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