KIND words by cage legend Robert Jaworski for his dad made the day of Gilas Pilipinas member and new Ginebra frontliner Japeth Aguilar on Monday night.
“Nung na-meet ko siya (Jaworski), sobrang na-inspire ako kasi kinamayan niya lahat ng mga players, pero pagdating niya sa akin, ako lang ni-recognize niya,” Aguilar told Spin.ph after Gilas’ practice at Moro Lorenzo gym inside the Ateneo campus.
“Sabi niya, ‘O Japeth,’ sinabi niya pangalan ko, ‘Iyung tatay mo player ko dati. Mahusay din,’” added the son of former Ginebra backup center Peter Aguilar.
The 6-9 Aguilar, acquired by Ginebra from Globalport after the Commissioner's Cup, said Jaworski's words made him feel proud of his dad, a second-round pick and 11th overall draft choice of Anejo Rhum 65 (former name of Barangay Ginebra) in the 1989 draft.
The 1989 draft, by the way, is still regarded as one of the best in years, featuring a bumper crop that included Benjie Paras (the only player to win the MVP award as a rookie), Nelson Asaytono, Paul Alvarez, Romy dela Rosa, Dindo Pumaren and Ato Agustin - the only second-round pick to become MVP.
The 26-year-old Aguilar said his dad would have been easily lost in the mind of Jaworski, considering that the former Ginebra playing coach had handled so many players during his long tenure.
“Nakaka-inspire kasi di ko inexpect 'yun since sa dami niyang (Jaworski) nahawakan na players, tapos maalala niya pa ng ganun ang papa ko. Malaking bagay yun para sa akin,” shared the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper big man.