After 3 seasons playing the second violin of Alvin Patrimonio, Nelson Asaytono was finally doomed to fame and in his first season with his new team, Swift Mighty Meaties “the bull” quickly made his presence felt.
The 6-foot-3 forward managed to make the Mighty Meaties a legitimate title contender and Asaytono was the immediate favorite for the MVP award.
He became the player of the franchise and on that day, July 2, 1992, Asaytono set the record for most free throw attempts in the “Hot Dog Wars” encounter between his former team, Purefoods, and his new Swift team.
Asaytono would hit 24 of 27 attempts from the free throw line, but the Mighty Meaties lost to the Tender Juicy Hotdogs, 110-106.
With Asaytono in charge, the Mighty Meaties have had a good run this season. The team finished fourth in the first conference, third at the All-Filipino, but made their way to the championship in the third season-ending conference when “hurricane” Tony Harris overtook the competition and gave the franchise its very first title.
Throughout their campaign, Asaytono has been a basketball stunt for the Mighty Meaties as he averaged 22.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game to lead his team’s goal production. He was the statistical leader of the MVP derby, but lost the prize to Ato Agustin.
Asaytono and fellow Swift player Al Solis would join Agustin, Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez in the First Mythical Team selection.
At several times in his career, Asaytono would find himself in the short end of the MVP race. The following season, after helping the Mighty Meaties win their second title, he found himself playing another close derby for the MVP with his former teammates Patrimonio and Jerry Codiñera, and would lose the award to Patrimonio.
A similar case occurred in 1997 when Patrimonio won the MVP award and Asaytono had the best season of his career playing for the San Miguel Beermen, where he averaged a personal best of 23.1 points. and 7.1 rebounds per game.
Asaytono would become a member of a seven-time champion team, received the award for best conference player twice and would be named 10 times to the PBA All-Star Game.
For many, his non-inclusion in the league’s all-time greats list was seen as long overdue and the other greats expect him to be added to the roster when the PBA announces his 50 plus. great players.
His record for most free throws in a single game may serve as a footnote, but he remains a single game record and to date almost 30 years ago he would leave his mark in the books. of history.
Rey Joble is a sports journalist who has covered the PBA since 1998, and a fan of the league long before that.
PBA Story, Asaytono, PBA Record, Free Throw Record, Purefoods, Swift Mighty Meaties