Apr 12, 2020

PBA vows to extend help to 'The Bull'

THE PBA is more than willing to extend financial help to former star player Nelson Asaytono who is now recuperating after suffering a heart attack during the Holy Week in Cavite.

Commissioner Willie Marcial has already been informed about the condition of the 53-year-old cage great on Saturday and immediately said the league will provide assistance to the native of Oriental Mindoro who became popularly known as 'The Bull' during his 17 playing years in the PBA.

"Oo tutulong kami. Pati yung mga legends nag-usap na rin sila na tutulong kay Nelson," said the league chief.

Asaytono, who won a combined seven championships during his stint with Purefoods, Swift, and Red Bull, suffered a heart attack and was confined at the ICU in a hospital in General Trias City Tuesday through the help of Vice Mayor Maurito Sison.

He was discharged from the hospital on Saturday and is now resting at home.

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"Nakausap ko si Mr. (Ronald) Dulatre nakakalaro kasi niya sila Nelson and kaibigan nila si Vice Mayor (Sison)," said Marcial of the NLEX assistant vice president.

"Ina-aarange na natin paano maipapa-abot yung tulong ng PBA kasi nga naka ECQ (Enchanced Community Quarantine) pa tayo."

Marcial last saw Asaytono February of last year when he personally went at the Mall of Asia Arena to watch action in the 2019 Philippine Cup.

"Maganda ang katawan niya, mukhang kundisyon nga, e. Ang sabi niya noon magpapalaro siya sa Nueva Vizcaya," recalled the PBA chief of his meeting with the former University of Manila stalwart.

The no. 2 overall pick by Purefoods in the talented 1989 draft class, Asaytono is one of the most dominant big men the league has ever seen behind his power moves and strong drives to the basket.

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Twice he was a strong contender for the MVP award during his time with Swift and San Miguel but lost both times.

But he was voted three times as member of the Mythical First team, a four-time Mythical Second team, a two-time Best Player of the Conference, and 10-time All-Star.

Upon his retirement in 2006, he ranked no. 5 in the all-time scoring list with 12,268 points in 796 games behind Ramon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben, Alvin Patrimonio, and Atoy Co.(RG)