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    Vito stepping out of Desiderio, Dario shadows in bid to join UP batchmates in PBA

    Apr 17, 2019

    PAUL Desiderio and Diego Dario have made it to the PBA, but there's a third senior from last year's UP Fighting Maroons squad who's still continuing his basketball path.

    Gelo Vito has been on a quest to prove that he can do more than what he did in his time in Diliman, making the most of his opportunity with Wangs Basketball in the 2019 PBA D-League.

    Through five games, the 24-year-old center has been on a tear, averaging 10.2 points on a 50-percent shooting clip, to go with 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the Couriers.

    "I'm really happy I'm getting this opportunity," he quipped. "Nothing to take against UP pero I'm really glad that I'm given this opportunity na makalaro and to showcase my talent lalo na I'm preparing for the PBA Draft. It's just a process eh. I just have to take it one game at a time. You never know."

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    Vito's brightest moment so far came last March 26, when he exploded for 19 points to lead Wangs to a 75-64 win over Perpetual.

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      His consistent performance only brings smile to the face of Couriers coach Pablo Lucas, who is positive that the 6-foot-5 banger can go far with the weapons in his arsenal.

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      "He can shoot sa three-points, plus yung rebounding niya na halos ipagpalit na niya ang mukha niya. Sabi ko naman sa kanya, kunin mo ng kunin bola, makipagbakbakan ka sa loob and the shots will follow," said the bench tactician.

      More than his game, though, Vito's importance to the team could be seen on his leadership as he fulfills the same role he did back in his time with UP.

      "I just wanna lead this team being appointed as the captain. I really have a responsibility to take charge and take over sa team na ito. But I wouldn't take all the credit sa sarili ko because I also want to thank yung teammates ko. Sila rin yung dahilan kung bakit maganda yung pinapakita namin dito kasi for me talaga buo kami ngayon," he said.

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      Wangs currently sits at fourth place in the Foundation Group with its 3-2 card, and with four games remaining, is looking to sustain this groove to make it to the playoffs.

      And for Vito, it's all about enjoying the game first and foremost.

      "We're just really enjoying the game. Kung papansinin mo yung composition ng team namin, most of us come from Final Four teams and winning teams," he said as FEU's Arvin Tolentino and Axel Inigo, San Beda's Radge Tongco, and fellow Fighting Maroon Jarell Lim join him in the Couriers.

      "For a team na ganoon ang composition, it's really hard to jell. Pero kami dito, we're really enjoying and we're really having fun playing together. We really hope na magtuloy-tuloy pa kami."

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