JAPETH Aguilar refused to believe that Barangay Ginebra now has the momentum in its PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series against Star despite pulling off back-to-back victories.
The Gin Kings frustrated the Hotshots in Game Four on Wednesday, 93-86, to tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece and reduce the battle for a finals berth into a race-to-two affair.
But Aguilar is keeping an even keel as coach Tim Cone continues to make adjustments in bracing for a Hotshots comeback in Game Five on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I don't want to be complacent,” Aguilar said. “Every game is different, (kaya) every film viewing, every time na pagaaralan namin yung tape, talagang nag-iiba yung tactic ni Coach Tim.”
“That's the beauty of Coach Tim, talagang nag-iiba,” the Gin Kings star slotman added. “Kung nasa loob ka lang ng team mararamdaman mo kung anong klase si Coach Tim.”
Aguilar came through when it mattered in Game Four, scattering 12 of his 18 points in the payoff period, before dishing out an assist to Jervy Cruz for the final nail in the coffin of the Hotshots.
The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay was quick to play down his Game Four heroics.
“Para sa akin, ginagawa ko lang talaga ying pinapagawa sa akin ni Coach Tim, so kapag nasa loob lang ako ng game yun lang iniisip ko,” the 6-foot-9 beanpole said.
“I think dahil matagal akong nilabas, na-reserve ko yung energy ko nung huli plus binabasa ko yung sitwasyon,” he added after making eight of his 15 shots and completing his night with 10 boards, two assists, and one block, against four turnovers in 33 minutes.
More than his stats, Aguilar admitted he needs to match the intensity of Hotshots counterpart Marc Pingris for the Gin Kings to keep their streak going.
“For me, I really need to put up effort, kasi on the other side halimaw din yung ka-matchup ko si Ping,” Aguilar said of his Gilas teammate. “So every game, yun lang lagi iniisip ko na I really need to put up as much effort as I can.”