JAPETH Aguilar’s first game against his former team is something he’d rather forget.
Globalport’s athletic big man struggled to find his range opposite Talk `N Text, leading to a Batang Pier rout at the hands of the Tropang Texters, 79-99, in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup encounter on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With the smaller but faster Ryan Reyes hounding him throughout, Aguilar finished with only four points - a conference-low – on 1-of-8 shooting from the field, seven rebounds, and three turnovers.
The figures are obviously a far cry from his averages of 15.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and two blocks in his first three games with Globalport after the trade that also involved Rabeh Al-Hussaini.
“My first game against Talk ‘N Text, medyo di maganda,” Aguilar admitted to Spin.ph following the Batang Pier’s most embarrassing defeat this conference under new coach Junel Baculi.
“Maganda talaga naging preparation ng Talk ‘N Text sa amin. They were the better team in this game. And di namin in-expect `yung ganung depensa sa akin,” added the 26-year-old former Tropang Texter backup big man.
Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black, who once handled Aguilar at Ateneo, said his defensive ploy was to simply put a quick guard on Aguilar in the mold of Reyes since the 6-foot-9 center dribbles the ball high.
The formula obviously worked as Aguilar was hardly a factor in 28 minutes of play for Globalport.
“Sana pala nagamit namin `yung match-up (against Ryan) to our advantage,” said Aguilar. “But we still have a chance. We just need to focus on our next game on Sunday (against Meralco).”