IT’S not a matter of Japeth Aguilar getting back at former team Talk `N Text, but of him finally "coming of age" in the PBA.
The 6-foot-9 Aguilar admitted his move to Barangay Ginebra in last season’s Governors Cup signalled a new chapter in his pro career after time spent being buried at the far end of Talk `N Text’s deep frontline rotation.
But now that he’s getting the playing minutes with the Kings, the former Ateneo and Western Kentucky stalwart has the confidence to believe he can deliver in the clutch at this stage of his career.
“I don’t think like ganun na playing inspired (against Talk ‘N Text). Siguro, coming of age na rin, kasi ako naman `yung tipong basketball player na iniisip ko ano pa ba ang kailangan ko ma-improve,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar held court before scribes shortly after banging in a team-high 21 points to go with 12 rebounds and a personal conference-best seven blocks in the Kings’ thrilling 97-95 win over the Tropang Texters in the main game of Sunday’s PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
And the enigmatic big man was quick to give credit to Ginebra’s court general LA Tenorio for guiding him since he arrived at the Ginebra camp in the middle of the year.
“Ako, nakikinig lang sa kanila, lalo na kay LA. Kasi, kung medyo out of control ako sa loob, si LA talaga ang coach ko sa loob ng court. Dahil na rin dun sa confidence na binigay niya sa akin kaya malaki ang respeto ko sa kanya at kay Mark (Caguioa) din,” added the athletic Ginebra big man.
The big win was a fitting bounce back for the Kings, who were smarting from an 87-100 loss to the undermanned Meralco Bolts last Tuesday.
But with the high-leaping Aguilar continuing to develop, the sky's the limit for Ginebra.