Nationalian Pride Matthew Irvin Marlou Aquino
Matthew Irvine Marlou Aquino is an international professional basketball player for the Shinshu Brave Warriors of the Japan B.League. He debuted for the Japanese National Team as a power forward and center position in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Round in February 2022.
Matthew graduated last March 2020 with a degree in Marketing Management. Prior to representing his heritage team in the Asian world cup, he played for the National University from 2016 to 2018 in the UAAP.
His professional career kicked off in 2019 at Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, where he played for the Bacoor City Strikers. He later signed for the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors after he finished his contract with the City Strikers.
The 6-foot-9 power forward dreamt of playing and pursuing his professional basketball career internationally, not knowing that his Japanese lineage trace from his maternal grandmother would allow him to be one of the National team members.
“Dati, Gilas, pangarap ko yun, para sa akin, sobrang laking honor na, what more yung Japan…..it took me months to grasp and ask na totoo ba ito? Hanggang ayun, nakalaro na ako sa FIBA.”
Matthew Aquino is the son of Pinoy basketball legend and 3-time PBA champion Marlou Aquino. His interest in the game started when he was nine years old back in their hometown; Pangasinan, when he accidentally saw a collection of photos and newspapers of his father’s basketball career. He wasn’t aware of how famous his father was. Since then, he started playing basketball and wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play for Ginebra San Miguel in the Philippine Basketball Association.
From a young jock to professional athlete, “hardwork lang talaga, kahit wala kang talent, wala kang kalaban kundi ang sarili mo. Have faith and trust the process. Para sa pangarap mo, wag kang susuko.”— Matthew Aquino.
Our Nationalian Pride currently resides in Japan for his training and preparation for the upcoming Japan B. League this October. He always visits his Alma Mater whenever he is in the country, and just like his father, he sees himself giving back to his community through basketball clinics and helping young and aspiring athletes pursue their dreams.