GIVEN an opportunity to play for Gilas Pilipinas a second time, Japeth Aguilar vows to give his best shot in his bid to help the Philippines claim one of three berths at stake for the 2014 World championships in Spain.
"Seryoso talaga ito eh," Aguilar said, referring to the preparations by Gilas Pilipinas for the Fiba-Asia championship, which the country is hosting for the first time since 1973.
And considering the tournament showcases Asia's best national teams, the 6-foot-9 Globalport forward said focus is a must.
"Gusto kong makatulong sa Gilas kaya bukod sa Globalport, focused din ako dun. Yung (room for) mistakes napakaliit. Kailangan talaga seryosohin ang training para pag dating ng tournament, mag-champion tayo," he added.
Aguilar has seen his numbers dramatically increase in the ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup since being traded by Talk 'N Text to Globalport just before the second conference started.
In the Batang Pier's first three games, Aguilar is averaging 15.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, two blocks and 1.3 steals — all career-highs for the four-year pro.
He hopes to bring this new-found confidence to Gilas Pilipinas, the tallest national team ever assembled in Philippine basketball.
Aguilar is part of the 17-man Gilas Pilipinas training pool, which practices every Monday night at the Philsports Arena.
"Nasa kay (Gilas Pilipinas) coach Chot (Reyes) na kung isasama niya ako sa final 12. Basta sa akin lang, ang importante maipadala natin yung best lineup para sa Fiba," explained the 26-year-old former Ateneo big man.
Aguilar was part of the original Smart Gilas team that played in two Fiba Asia men's championships (2009 and 2011) and William Jones Cup.
He averaged 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 8.2 minutes during the Fiba Asia showpiece in Wuhan, Harbin, China in 2011.