BOCAUE, Bulacan – Chito Victolero singled out big man Japeth Aguilar as the big difference in Star’s Christmas Day loss to rival Barangay Ginebra at the Philippine Arena.
“Medyo napabayaan namin si Japeth,” rued Victolero of the Ginebra power forward, who shot a career-high 32 points and added 12 rebounds to complete a double-double in the 86-79 win on Sunday night in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Aguilar was 10 of 15 from the field, but surprisingly, torched the Hotshots with his deadly shooting from three-point range where he finished 5 of 5.
“We didn’t expect Japeth to hit 5 of 5 sa three-point (area),” said Victolero.”Yun lang ang hindi namin ini-expect. Of course, nagka-kumpiyansa na siya. Hindi lang kami naka-adjust ng kaunti.”
But the Star mentor admitted the Hotshots would rather have Aguilar shoot it from the outside than give him the higher percentage shots from inside.
“Yun nga lang nagkulang lang kami ng kaunti sa challenge,” he said.
Still, Victolero said he was satisfied with the way Star played despite seeing the team’s three-game losing streak come to an end.
“Ang game plan is to make (the game) close, and then sa huli baka sakaling makasingit kami,” he stressed, “Kaso nga hindi nangyari.”