Lost in the shuffle of Victoria Sports-MLQU’s maiden foray in the PBA D-League was the stellar performance of big man Aris Dionisio.
The little-known 6-foot-5 center has made a good account of himself this past 2017 Aspirants’ Cup, averaging a double-double of 14.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks.
His coach Jinino Manansala has not doubt that Dionisio is capable of keeping up with the big boys.
“Ever since he played for me in St. Clare College, he’s been doing the same. He does it all and he’s a hardworking person. I think he’s ready for the big time,” the mentor said in Filipino.
One thing the 21-year-old want to prove is that he can perform at the same level as his peers from other famed schools in the Metro.
“All I’m thinking is I have to compete with them. I was adjusting at the start, but in the next games, I did all I could to help our team,” he said.
Dionisio has been a solid contributor for Victoria, providing the muscle down low to perfectly complement lead scorer Robbie Herndon. His performance through eight games was enough to land him in the top two of the league leaders in rebounding and blocks, just behind Cafe France center Rod Ebondo.
But the numbers are far from Dionisio’s concern, saying, “I just go hard down low every game.”
Dionisio would rather focus on the present as he hopes to continue honing his skills during his time in the amateurs.
“After this, I’ll focus on St. Clare. Maybe after that, I’ll try out for the other teams for the next D-League conference,” Dionisio said.
Still, Manansala believes that the numbers should be enough proof to the PBA scouts that Dionisio is indeed a diamond in the rough, pegging his big man as the next best under-the-radar prospect for this year’s Draft.
“I think he’s ready and I hope he gets drafted,” the coach said.