GLOBALPORT is hoping to find an import that could lift the team from the cellar, but coach Junel Baculi is also counting on Gary David and Japeth Aguilar to lead from the front for the PBA's youngest club.
Both are part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool and Baculi says the experience the two stand to gain before and during the Fiba-Asia Men's Basketball Championship in August could be valuable for the Batang Pier when the team vies for honors in the season-ending Governors Cup.
“When they come back to the team after Gilas, they’ll bring in some leadership, which we lack in the past conferences. We need someone who could bring leadership to the team,” Baculi told Spin.ph.
But while David has proven himself to be a reliable scorer, Baculi likened Aguilar to a rookie that is still trying to find his place in the team.
“Si Japeth kasi, he just needs to play more games to find his place in the team. Nitong nakaarang conference kasi, parang lumalabas na rookie pa rin siya dahil na rin sa lack of exposure niya (in the past). But we just need to be patient with him,” he added.
Baculi, who had a rough coaching debut for the Batang Pier in the Commissioner’s Cup as his team could only come up with two wins in 14 games, is hopeful the 6-foot-9 Aguilar could blossom further under his system and really play to his potential as a rebounder and defensive anchor because of his quickness and leaping ability.
Asked whether the big man out of Ateneo and Western Kentucky is on the trading block, Baculi answered: “Wala pa kami pinag-uusapan diyan.”
Globalport switched imports several times during the conference, but the young franchise still failed to salvage its campaign and eventually wound up dead last for the second straight time this season.
The Batang Pier won just once during the season-opening Philippine Cup under then interim coach Glen Capacio.