JAPETH Aguilar refused to celebrate too much after his game-winner on Friday night put Ginebra on the cusp of returning to the PBA Finals for the first time in three years.
“It could've gone either way, but I thank God na pumasok yung tira,” said Aguilar, who finished with 22 points, eight boards, four blocks, and one turnover in almost 38 minutes of play.
“Pero kailangan ko lang talaga kalimutan ‘to kasi hindi pa ‘to ang magpapanalo ng series eh,” he added after the Gin Kings grabbed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. “Mayroon pang game sa Sunday. As good as the game-winner was, wala na yun. It’s over and on to the next game.”
Credit Sol Mercado for entrusting the fate of Ginebra’s hands to Aguilar as the veteran guard, who had been misfiring all-game long, dished out the pass that led to the game-winning basket.
“I told Sol talaga na pag nasa loob talaga siya, nag-iiba yung complexity ng game,” Aguilar said. “For me, it's his time, so he's playing great right now. Sana mag-continue yun, huwag mawala focus niya.”
Their focus as a unit is to close out the defending champion Beermen in Game Four on Sunday night for their first finals berth in three years.
“They have what we want: yun nga, yung championship,” Aguilar said. “Gusto lang namin talaga na makapanalo ng championship para sa Ginebra.”