FORMER Ginebra player Peter Aguilar is back in the country for good and he’s got one urgent reason for doing so.
Before everything becomes too late, the now retired cager said it would be better to come back home and personally see his son Japeth Aguilar play out his blossoming career with no less than the same franchise where he started playing as a pro.
“Napag-isipan ko rin kasi na makita ‘yung career ng anak ko. Ayoko namang pag retired na ako, tsaka lang ako manonood,” said the elder Aguilar, now 49.
‘Gusto ko ring makita na naglalaro pa siya,” he added. “Alam mo naman Ginebra din tayo dati, para ma-feel ko rin ‘yung pakiramdam ng isang tatay kapag nanonood ka sa loob ng coliseum.”
The native of Pampanga returned to the Philippines before the start of the PBA 41st season after a 14-year stay in Chicago where the family is based.
Except for the Kings’ out-of-the-country outing in Dubai against Alaska, Peter has not missed any of Japeth’s games.
He was also there when the 6-foot-9 Aguilar had his first practice back with Gilas Pilipinas as part of its 17-man training pool under coach Tab Baldwin.
Peter said he’s just making up for lost time.
“Palagi na lang kasi ako dati nakikibalita kung maganda ba o hindi ang laro ni Japeth,” he recalled. “Kaya nag-decide na rin akong bumalik. Siguro ito yung will ng Panginoon para sa amin.”
Although the young Aguilar has been going great guns under new Ginebra coach Tim Cone, his father says there’s still a lot of improvement needed in his game.
“Marami pa siyang dapat iimprove, especially sa decision making niya. Tsaka sa depensa, minsan kasi nawawala sa focus,” Peter said about his son, who is averaging 18.8 points and 9.6 rebounds in 26 minutes of play five games into the Smart Bro-Philippine Cup.
"Sinasabihan ko rin naman siya kung ano pa ‘yung nakikita kong kulang niya pa. Alam mo naman ngayon ang mga manlalaro, palakas ng palakas ang kumpetisyon sa basketball. Ang daming players na mga dumarating.”
One thing going for the former top draft pick (2009) though, is his height and athleticism.
“Yun ang strength ni Japeth, mahaba siya and very athletic.”
Peter played for five seasons in the league from 1989 to 1993 and spent time playing for Anejo (Ginebra now), Alaska, Seven-Up, Sta. Lucia, and Shell. He suited up in 135 games and averaged 4.2 points.
After being apart from his family for a long time, Peter said he’s more than happy to be back and be reunited with them.
“For good na ako rito hindi na ako babalik. Salamat sa Panginoon, pinagsama na kaming pamilya,” he said.