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Azurin's sweet game

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Senior guard led the Costa Mesa boys' basketball team to two road wins last week.

January 17, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Daniel Azurin used to live in the Philippines until around the age of 9. The sugar business and a better life brought Azurin and his family to the U.S.

The family settled in Costa Mesa, but it kept its ties to the Philippines strong. The Philippines is where Augusto Azurin, Daniel's father, exports a minimally refined brown sugar called "muscovado" to the U.S.

Augusto also taught his son, Daniel, the game of basketball, the sport Daniel learned in the Philippines, where his dad played in college. Daniel never saw his dad in action at Adamson University in Manila. From what he has read in old newspaper clippings, Augusto was quite the player.

Daniel isn't so bad himself. In his senior season at Costa Mesa High, Daniel's game is just as sweet as the organic sugar his father's company sells.

Luckily for Augusto, he is able to watch his son play and then read about his performance afterward.

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Azurin has been lighting it up on the court this season. Last week, he averaged 17.5 points and 3.5 three-pointers during the Mustangs' two wins on the road.

The biggest game turned out to be the one against La Cañada Flintridge Prep at Liberty Christian in Huntington Beach. What fired up Azurin and the rest of his teammates was that Flintridge Prep was ranked No. 15 in the CIF Southern Section Division 4AA poll and Costa Mesa was not. The Mustangs went into the matchup six games above. 500 and the Rebels five games below.

Azurin made sure Flintridge Prep dropped its sixth game in seven tries. The 6-foot guard knocked down five three-pointers to finish with 22 points in a 62-53 nonleague victory, helping Costa Mesa get off to its second 12-5 start in three seasons.

Azurin also contributed to slowing down Flintridge Prep's star guard, Robert Cartwright, who is bound for Stanford. The Mustangs used a 1-3-1 zone to hold the senior to 15 points.

"We had something to prove," says Azurin, who always feels like he has to perform because of his dad. "It's really hard to live up to his name. It's more of an obligation for me to train to be as good as him, or if not better. I'm just trying to live up to his name."

So far, Azurin is making plays and making his father, as well as his coach, Mike Molina, proud.

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