WITH time winding down and Ginebra up by three points, Japeth Aguilar made a huge mistake by miscalculating a three-point attempt of Malcolm Hill and sending the Star import to the line for three free throws that sent the game into overtime.
Thankfully for Aguilar, the foul, while ill-advised, didn't prove too costly as Ginebra put away a 105-101 victory in overtime in a Sunday thriller in the PBA Governor's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-9 Gilas mainstay said it was a simple case of miscalculation on his part.
"Yung balak ko talaga, I was gonna go over him and he stopped, ibig sabihin mag-stay ako sa likod niya," said Aguilar, who finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. "Pero he did a good job kasi nag-pull back siya and nag-pump fake pa."
Aguilar, however, justified his decision, saying he was gonna go for that block no matter what, especially with the game on the line.
"Last few seconds na eh, nakuha niya, na-foul bait niya ako and they were 100 percent from the foul line while kami we were terrible."
Coach Tim Cone obviously wasn't happy with the foul, but explained that Aguilar just followed his 'instinct' when he went for the block on Hill.
"You know Japeth is a shot-blocker. So his instinct on a pump fake is to jump for the shot, and he just went to his instincts," said Cone.
"You know, obviously it wasn't a good instinct, it wasn't the right thing to do, but he just went to his instincts, and in those situations, you just gotta try to stay disciplined."
But for the coach with the most number of PBA titles, it's all about how his team moves on from plays like that - which he definitely saw in the final five minutes of the game.
"You just gotta move on. We're not gonna talk about it because it was just kind of a mistake, you move on from your mistakes, you learn from it. Maybe next time, he won't fly at the ball when you're up by three."
In the end, Aguilar was just thankful to his teammates for staying together amid a spate of missed free throws and bad decision that nearly cost them the game.
"Proud ako sa teammates ko. As the match escalated, talagang we picked each other up and nagtulungan kami. Test of character sa amin itong game na to."