Promoted back to Ateneo’s Team A, guard Anton Asistio continues to prove he certainly deserves his spot.
The 5-foot-9 Asistio came through with his most solid performance yet on Saturday night as the Blue Eagles outfought the University of the East Red Warriors, 84-69 to put their UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball title campaign back on track at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Inserted into the starting lineup, Asistio sizzled with a team-high 21 points, 12 of them coming in the second half, where he helped Ateneo pull away from UE and stay composed during a longer-than-usual finish, with the Red Warriors going on a fouling spree.
“We expected that kind of game. That’s what we practice in the past few days and thankfully we were able to execute our game plan,” said Asistio, who knocked down all of his nine free throws, six of them in the crunch.
Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga admitted he’s not really surprised to see Asistio take charge, especially with dependable guard Aaron Black still recovering from a foot injury.
“Anton has really worked hard on his game. Not only on his game, but he also bulked up,” he said. “We’re a young team. We’re looking for our players to keep on improving and stepping up and that’s what we want.”
While he certainly led the Blue Eagles’ attack, Asistio deflected the credit to his teammates.
“My teammates found me for open shots,” he said. “I’m not really thinking about scoring. I’m just trying to be aggressive and trying to run the system and find the open guys.” – Jerome Lagunzad
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