JAPETH Aguilar said said he wasn't showing off against his former team TnT Katropa when he dished off a dished off a monster game for Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup face-off on Sunday night.
In the own words of the slam-dunking forward, he just wants ‘to keep getting better’ as a player.
“Yun lang ang talaga sa akin, na magtuluy-tuloy lang yung progress and help the team win,” said Aguilar of his 16-point, 14-rebound, five-block performance in the Kings’ 107-89 rout of the Texters at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Matagal na rin naman yun. And andito na tayo sa Ginebra ngayon.”
The 30-year-old native of Sasmuan, Pampanga was very much identified with the TnT franchise early in his career, having played with the team for four seasons following his rookie stint with Burger King, and winning his first championship with the Texters during the 2012 Philippine Cup.
But he parted ways with TnT after being traded to Globalport before eventually landing at Ginebra without completing a full season with the Batang Pier.
Aguilar has since found a home, and family, with the Kings.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa mga teammates ko kasi lahat ito total team effort,” he said after the Kings’ fourth straight win since dropping their debut game this conference to Phoenix.
Tim Cone, though, singled out Aguilar after playing like a man possessed against the Texters.
“Japeth was really active, incredibly active all-game long. He’s such an intimidator and a great rim protector all-game long. And I thought that was the key,” stressed the Ginebra mentor.
“But really I felt it was that defensive stand that Japeth made in that third and fourth quarter that really changed the game. He was just all over the place. He was intimidating, if he wasn’t blocking shots, he was changing shots and he was intimidating everybody.”