ALL Aaron Aban wanted for his birthday was for Talk ‘N Text to win on Thursday.
He got more than what he asked for.
A day after turning 33, the Tropang Texters’ defensive stopper delivered offensively as well as his team turned back Purefoods, 111-107, in Game Three of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series that moved them on the cusp of entering the finals.
Aban celebrated his birthday with his family on Wednesday by having a simple dinner and lighting a candle at Baclaran church.
“Yun na nga yung wish ko na manalo lang kami,” Aban said in a chat with Spin.ph after the game.
The Cagayan de Oro native received a lot more as he registered a career-high 17 points, making all but one of his eight shots, including two treys, three rebounds, and one assist off the bench.
All while not forgetting his defensive assignments on Joe Devance (nine points in 33 minutes) and James Yap (11 points in 25 minutes).
“Wala namang ibang inaasahan sa akin si coach kundi depensa eh,” Aban said. “Nagkataon lang siguro na open ako tapos tira at pumapasok naman.”
“Maganda lang siguro ang gising, so good thing nakatulong sa team,” he added.
Aban could’ve added to his scoring output, but his breakaway dunk that put the exclamation point to the Texters victory barely missed the final buzzer.
Still, it was a special night for the former Letran Knight who played so well he ended playing a season-high 32 minutes in Game Three.
“Hindi rin ako sanay na ganung maglaro ng mahaba. Pasundot-sundot lang ako eh.”
Talk 'N Text coach Jong Uichico said Aban's scoring came as a big 'bonus.'
“It’s good that I have players that are ready to play when called upon because Aaron works hard in practice and he got lucky tonight that he contributed not only defensively, but offensively as well,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said.
“Anything that he can give offensively is a bonus already,” the soft-spoken mentor added.