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Rising Star: Ivan Aska’s Quick Learning Leads San Miguel to Victory in PBA

MANILA, Philippines—It didn’t take long for San Miguel import Ivan Aska to learn from his mistakes.
After a loss to NLEX last Wednesday, Aska and the Beermen rebounded with a 93-83 win over Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday.
Aska said the 117-113 setback to the Road Warriors allowed him to see the areas in which he needed to improve his game. His coaches and teammates were also of big help in his bounce-back performance of 27 points, 13 rebounds and two steals.
The 33-year-old Aska also helped hold Bolts import Suleiman Braimoh to just 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the field.
Against NLEX, Aska had 21 points and nine rebounds and was thoroughly outplayed by his counterpart Thomas Robinson, who dominated with 42 points, 20 rebounds and five assists.
“I just learned my lesson from the first game. It was my first time and like I said the coaching staff and players got me ready for the game,” said Aska.
“I told myself that I had to stay in the game and do what I do, which is to play defense and offense.”
SMB coach Jorge Gallent also took notice of Aska’s adjustments.
“I’m sure he really adjusted well. He learned his lesson in the first game about the calls and everything. We chatted about what he can bring and what I wanted him to do and it worked,” said Gallent.
“It also helped that the 6-foot-8 big man already has a ton of experience playing professionally overseas. Before suiting up for the Beermen, Aska had stints in Greece, Belgium, Israel, France and Mexico to name a few.”
“I’ve been playing for 12 seasons so when it comes to basketball, I talk to coaches, they tell me what they want from me and I’ll give my all every day, whether that be in practice or in games.”