The Overlooked Ways These Players Have Lifted Their Teams in Season 81
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 09, 2019 01:44 PM
We know what Diego Dario, Anton Asistio, and Alvin Pasaol can do on the court, but many still overlook the ways each has lifted their team and inspired them to be better.
Season 81 of the UAAP Men’s Basketball is now in the books. Much has already been said about it; we all know by now what went down and the players who delivered big time. Still, not enough has been written about the exceptional qualities of the following athletes: Diego Dario, Anton Asistio, and Alvin Pasaol. We know what they can do on the court, but many still overlook the ways each has lifted their team and inspired them to be better. It’s time for these to take the spotlight.
Diego Dario, the Motivator
Digeo Dario had it better in his first two seasons in the UAAP compared to years three and four. His average playing time dwindled from 17.5 minutes in Seasons 77 and 78 to just 11.9 in Season 79 and 80. Self-doubt began to creep in—there were times Dario thought basketball was no longer for him, or that he didn’t want to play the sport anymore. However, he kept at it and didn’t relent in putting in the hard work. As a result, Dario provided solid minutes for UP and delivered when his team needed him the most in his final season. He was one of the reasons why the Maroons stayed alive in the do-or-die Game 2 against Adamson, as he pulled up from the free throw line with a smooth jumper.
In one of his biggest games in Season 81 (against UE), Dario had this to say: “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 was able to accomplish both, as his never-give-up attitude helped motivate his team to be better and make it all the way not just to the Final Four, but the Finals.
Anton Asistio, the Nice Guy
Anton Asistio always knew that he wasn’t one of Ateneo’s stars. In fact, he was quite aware of all the knocks against him: “too short, too weak, too slow, and that he can’t handle the ball.” Thus in his first two years with the team, Asistio was a benchwarmer. It became even worse for him in his third year, as he was relegated to Team B.
“I was sent down to Team B; but instead of seeing it as a downgrade, I looked at it as an opportunity to get better. Kasi the fact that they sent me down means na may kulang pa ako as a player," he said. Asistio always knew how to turn a negative into a positive. Come his fourth year, and after making the most of his “demotion,” he didn’t just keep his head up, things started looking up for him, too.
“After his Team B stint, we ended up with a guy who got in the weight room, changed his body, improved his mentality, continued to be a great shooter, became very dependable handling the ball, and also is one of our more dependable defensive players," shared Coach Tab Baldwin.
By the end of Game 2 of the Finals, the fans were chanting “A-sis-tio! A-sis-tio!”
Alvin Pasaol, the Joker
All hail the UAAP’s king of extra rice, Alvin Pasaol.
We’ve all witnessed just how dominant Pasaol is. He can play down the post, but he can also knock down outside shots. We’ve seen Pasaol put up 49 points in a single game. Many project him to be one of the top prospects in the PBA after his collegiate career. Pasaol’s game can be attributed to his skill, size, and surprising agility. But maybe, his real secret is to just go out there and have fun.
Pasaol is dead serious when it comes to competition, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t enjoy it in the process. It’s how he pumps up his teammates as well. Maybe more players could take a page out of Pasaol’s book and look back to the reason why they got into the sport to begin with—because basketball is fun.
Basketball isn’t just about who can score the most points. Sometimes, it’s the “little” overlooked qualities that make all the difference.
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