IF he had to it all over again, Japeth Aguilar would play Game Five of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against San Miguel Beer same way he did it on Sunday night.
The Ginebra star slotman insisted he left everything on the floor in the Gin Kings’ 91-85 loss that allowed the Beermen to close out the series in five games, pouring in a game-high 26 points, 16 boards, and one assist in 45 minutes.
Aguilar opened the scoring for Ginebra in the game with a three-pointer from the left wing and could’ve ended it the same way on the same spot to give the Gin Kings a chance to extend the series, only for Arwind Santos to block his shot.
Still, the 6-foot-9 Aguilar stood proud after the game.
“Wala na talaga (akong mabibigay),” Aguilar said after the thrilling match. “I think I laid everything sa game kanina. San Miguel was really consistent throughout this series, so all of the First Five are deadly. They beat us fair and square.”
“Credit to San Miguel talaga, they took care of business, consistent throughout the series, especially yung First Five talaga,” he added as the Gin Kings picked their poison among the SMB starters.
Aguilar, though, believes the Gin Kings still overachieved as they reached the finals despite being the seventh seeded team in the playoffs where they survived four knockout games before falling short in their fifth do-or-die game.
“I’m very proud of my team kasi we won the championship last conference and then we had to turn around, we fought through a lot of adversities, and then we made it to the finals,” Aguilar said. “So I’m very proud of what we accomplished this conference.”
“Maganda sana kung nakuha yung championship, pero wala talaga,” he added. “Kulang-kulang, may mga na-injure, Joe was playing in pain, so hopefully pag balik ni Greg (Slaughter), magkaroon kami ng reinforcement. The bright side is we can move forward and improve, and learn from this series.”