SINCE Japeth Aguilar joined Globalport, the team's veteran big men have been a little rough on him.
But Aguilar knows it's all for his own good.
Two-time MVP Willie Miller bared that they've been encouraging wide-bodied Globalport teammates like Alex Crisano, Jondan Salvador, and Romel Adducul to be a little more physical on Aguilar to help toughen him for the hard grind ahead.
“Talagang inuutusan namin yung tatlo na bundulin nang bundulin para mabilis tumigas," Miller told Spin.ph. “Kapag nasanay siya sa tatlong taga-train namin, masasanay siya sa PBA."
The 6-9 Aguilar, who arrived from Talk 'N Text after a long stay in the US where he tried to crash the NBA D-League ranks, is an athletic and agile big man who has been a finesse player for most of his career.
But Miller has no doubts that Aguilar will blossom in time.
“Lalabas ang laro niyan," the Globalport veteran said. "Kailangan lang kasing maging tough pa ni Japeth, kasi high flyer na siya. Tigas na lang."
Aguilar has welcomed the banging from Crisano and Co. in practice, saying he's open to learning from them.
“Iba talaga labanan dito, kaya inaaral ko ang larong PBA. As a basketball player, kailangan ko pag-aralan ang game. I am open to learning from them," said the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper, who debuted with 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in a 94-92 win over Petron on Friday night.
“Tumatanda na rin ako, kaya worth din na palakasin ko katawan ko and my game”, the second-generation PBA cager stressed. “Focus lang ako, kasi sa defense never ako mag-off night."
Globalport star Gary David is happy that Aguilar made it back to the national team pool, saying the gangling big man has a game best suited for the international game.
“Pang international talaga si Japeth, ganyan yung type na kailangan natin. Athletic, high leaper, magaling tumayming sa shot block," said David, himself a national team mainstay.
“Malaki maitutulong ni Japeth sa Gilas, ako nga natutuwa ako kasi kakampi ko siya dito (Global Port) at sa national team," the pride of Dinalupihan, Bataan added.