As PBA fetes 40 Greatest Players, guess what 'biggest omission' Nelson Asaytono is doing
Nelson Asaytono says the pain of being left out of the PBA 40 Greatest Players list was eased by the strong reaction of fans over his non-inclusion. Jerome Ascano

ON a night when the PBA honored the '40 Greatest Players' in elaborate ceremonies at Resorts World Manila, guess where Nelson Asaytono was.

In faraway Isabela playing the game he loves.

Asaytono, a high-scoring forward who not a few fans felt deserved to be included in the elite list, was in Isabela with another top candidate, Bong Hawkins, when reached by on Wednesday night.

Asaytono and Hawkins are just two of the league greats who did not get the nod of the committee tasked to name the additional 15 players who joined 25 Greatest Players of the PBA honored back in 1990.

[See Asaytono fumes over non-inclusion in PBA 40 Greatest Players list]

Asaytono, however, insisted he has long put the snub behind him.

"Wala na akong pakialam dun (40 Greatest Awards Night). Nagsalita na ko dati, nailabas ko na saloobin ko. Okay na ko. Move on na," said Asaytono.

The former San Miguel Beer do-it-all forward also said the strong reaction of fans over his non-inclusion has also eased the pain that he felt when he didn't make the list.

"Nakita mo naman galit ng nga fans, para sa akin, ayos na yung sila na nagsalita ng iba pa para sa akin. Dun pa lang naisip ko na na tao na mismo nagsabi kung saan ako dapat nakaluklok, kung deserving ako o hindi," he said.

Asaytono also bared that he and Hawkins didn't even talk about the awards night while on their way to Isabela where they will play a series of friendly games with fellow PBA legends Gerry Esplana, Poch Juinio and EJ Feihl, alongside actors Dennis Padilla, Jim Padilla, Jordan Herrera, Joko Diaz and Onyok Velasco.

"Wala na 'yun, di na namin napapag-uusapan rito yun," said 'The Bull.' "Magbigay pugay sila run (Resorts World), kami namin magbibigay saya rito sa Isabela."

[ICYMI: Controversy over PBA 40 Greatest Players selection: Let's look at the numbers]

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