PLAYING for Barangay Ginebra San is the fulfillment of a dream for Japeth Aguilar.
The Gilas Pilipinas standout couldn't contain his excitement before his debut with the team, recalling how he used to wear his dad Peter's Anejo jersey as a kid as he held his own No. 25 uniform with the ballclub.
"Hindi ko in-expect na makakalaro ako dito sa Ginebra. Dati sinusuot lang sa akin ng mom ko ang jersey ng father ko. Ngayon sarili ko na ang susuot ko," Aguilar told Spin.ph moments before Ginebra's debut in the Governors cup against Petron Blaze.
"Bago nga ako nagpunta dito Araneta (Coliseum), tumawag pa dad ko. Sabi niya pag-igihan ko daw. Madaming fans ang aasa ng panalo, huwag ko daw pahiyain," said Aguilar.
The second generation PBA cager also bared his dad promised to stay up late just to watch his first game with Ginebra via live streaming.
Japet also showed Spin.ph a copy of a picture posted by his mother Josephine on her Instagram account where the then four-year-old was wearing his dad's Anejo jersey.
Newly installed Ginebra coach Ato Agustin also assured Aguilar and another Gilas star, LA Tenorio, will be suiting up in the game.
"Oo, game na yang mga 'yan (Japeth and LA tenorio). Hahanapin ng tao yan kaya fight 'yan mamaya," said Agustin.
Even teammates are thrilled to have the agile big man in the Ginebra fold.
"He’ll be a big help underneath. When he jumps, no one can match that," said Chris Ellis, who is looking forward to an electrifying game from his fellow high-flyer.
"If there is a chance to dish out highlight reels, why not? But the most important thing is we already have a talented big man in Japeth," he added.
Tenorio, too, is ready to answer the call in case Agustin needs him.
"Kung gagamitin kami ni Japeth, lalaro talaga kami. Pero saka na showtme, importante manalo ang team. Maikli ang conference eh, single round lang, importante bawat laro," Tenorio said.