Childhood pals Aaron Black, Diego Dario thrilled to reunite in PBA

Childhood pals Aaron Black, Diego Dario thrilled to reunite in PBA

MORE than a decade since last becoming teammates, childhood friends Aaron Black and Diego Dario finally get to share the same court again at Meralco.

The reunion was made possible when team management signed the 5-foot-7 Dario for the rest of the PBA Governors’ Cup after serving as practice player for the Bolts since last season.

Injuries to Meralco’s backcourt rotation including Black, prompted the coaching staff to elevate the guard to the active roster, marking the return of Dario to Asia’s pioneering pro league after being let go by Blackwater at the start of the 46th season.

READ: Diego Dario plays roles as Meralco practice player

Aaron naturally, couldn’t be happier being in the same team again with Dario.

“It’s great to have him as teammate. Hindi pa kami nagkakasama sa isang team since 10-years-old pa lang kami,” said Black, who had five points in Meralco’s 94-86 loss to undefeated San Miguel on Thursday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We grew up together and we’re really close.”

As youngsters, Aaron and Diego played together in kids’ leagues like Junior PBA, Kids Hoops, and in neighborhood basketball.

“And then after nun, nag UP na siya, Ateneo na ako, kaya nag-iba na kami ng team. Pero we stayed close pa rin,” said Black.

Just weeks into the season-ending conference, the injury bug hit the Bolts, eventually opening the door for Dario to show what exactly he can do if given the chance.

“Maganda ang pinakita sa practices, e. May mga practice games kami that I had to sit out kasi nga yung tuhod ko (contusion). Si Anjo (Caram), may injury din, si CB (Chris Banchero) ganun din, so he had to sit out, too,” recalled Black.

“So, nagpakita siya. Siguro nagustuhan ng management at ng mga coaches, kaya nandito na siya.”

But Black said Dario deserves a second chance playing in the league, having seen how he takes care of his health and body in order to always keep in shape.

“Ano yan ‘gym rat,’” said Black with a smile. “Hindi umaalis ng gym yan.

“But I see his work, and his work speaks for himself,” said the son of coach Norman Black. “For me to see him get that chance to get back again in the league, I’m really happy for him. We’re happy to have him in the team. Perfect fit for us si Diegs.” 

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