WHAT a difference Gilas Pilipinas mainstays Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio can do for Barangay Ginebra.
Since the two rejoined the team following their stint with the national team, coach Jeffrey Cariaso said the Gin Kings’ level of intensity has picked up and it showed in Ginebra’s preseason game against grand slam champion San Mig Coffee.
“These guys (Aguilar and Tenorio) are not only playing lots of basketball. They just came here this week, but they just lifted the spirits of the guys," said Cariaso after the preseason match ended up in a 92-92 draw on Saturday at the Ronac gym in San Juan
Aguilar and Tenorio missed the first three weeks of the Kings’ training camp as they were with Gilas Pilipinas team in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
The 6-foot-9 Aguilar scored 12 of his 22 points in the third period, before fouling out midway through the final quarter.
Cariaso was quick to point out that winning in the preseason is not the Kings’ objective, saying his priority is to see the entire team mature under his system.
"We're probably about 75 percent (in the preparation for the season), but we're getting better because now we know when to attack the basket and where they need to be," he added.
Cariaso plans to set up one more preseason game for the team on Tuesday before wrapping up its preparation for the new season, which it ipens with a potential explosive showdown against Talk `N Text in the main game of the PBA Philippine Cup’s October 19 opener at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.