IT'S FIRST blood for Magnolia in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, as they took Game 1 of a best-of-seven series versus Meralco. But it was deja vu for the team's sophomore forward Aris Dionisio, as his faceoff with Allein Maliksi triggered an old memory.
After the Hotshots beat the Bolts, 88-79, last Sunday in Bacolor, Pampanga, Dionisio took to social media to share a throwback.
He posted two photos: First, an old one of himself standing side by side with Maliksi, and a screenshot of in-game action with him in the semifinals.
"Take your passion and make it happen," he wrote in the caption of the post.
The two photos were taken nine years apart, the 6-foot-5 Dionisio shared.
"I think 2012 pa 'yung old photo and inter-barangay 'yung liga na yan. Parang may binista lang si Allein na kaibigan that time tapos may nagsabi sa akin na PBA player kaya nagpa-picture ako," he told SPIN Life.
At the time when the picture was taken, Maliksi was a rookie after having picked by Petron in the first round of the 2011 PBA Rookie Draft.
Aris Dionisio has come far
In less than a decade, Dionisio, a product of St. Clare and Philippine School of Business Administration, now plays alongside him in the country's biggest pro league.
That's why seeing himself grace the stage with Maliksi became a little personal for him.
"Sobrang saya ko na nakarating dito sa pro level. Hindi ko naman in-expect na aabot ako hanggang dito and hindi ko rin in-expect na magkakalaban kami ni Allein dahil galing lang ako sa ligang barangay, nagtiyaga lang hanggang maabot kung nasaan man ako ngayon," the soft-spoken forward said.
He's yet to show the Meralco stalwart the throwback photo, but as they face off in six more games in the fight for the championship round, it's a concrete reminder for Dionisio that he's come this far.
"Hindi ko pa napapakita sa kanya yan parang nahihiya ako kasi hindi ko alam anong sasabihin ko sa kanya," he added.
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