WHILE the situation with Globalport’s reinforcement continues to be unstable, Japeth Aguilar is working on his consistency to somehow help the Batang Pier break out of a slump.
As the Batang Pier dropped to their sixth straight loss on Sunday versus the Alaska Aces, 85-93, Aguilar knows that time is not on the team’s side now as far as its playoff run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup is concerned.
“Kailangan ko ding mag step up lalo na yung sa rebounding ko. Saka na-foul trouble kasi agad ako so kailangan ko mag-ingat kasi kailangan ako sa loob. Otherwise, tatagal ang upo ko sa bench at mahirapan ako kunin yung rhythm ko,” Aguilar told Spin.ph.
In the team’s last two outings, the big man from Ateneo and West Kentucky University averaged just seven points, five rebounds and zero blocked shots - way below his impressive averages of 13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks during the team’s first seven outings.
Aguilar has a ready answer: he’s still adjusting to life without Justin Williams.
The 6-foot-9 Williams was given the pink slip by Globalport despite leading the league in rebounds (18 rpg.) and blocks (4.5 bpg.) through the team’s first seven games, replaced by a supposedly more offensive-minded Walter Sharpe.
Now Aguilar just hopes to deliver what is expected of him, if not more, whoever is hired to reinforce the Batang Pier.
“Iyung tandem namin (ni Williams), talagang nag-fit. Kasi kung siya (Williams) mag-block, ako kukuha ng rebound. Kung help siya, ako magro-rotate sa tao niya,” recalled the 26-year-old Aguilar. “He’s athletic din and physical din kaya nakaka-rebound siya."
Aguilar added, “Si Walter, he’s a scorer … but he’s really a scoring four or sometimes, he can play the three-position. Of course, di excuse ito, if I’m on the four spot, mas nakakatakbo ako. But at the five-position I have to bang bodies, and that’s what I need to work on,” admitted the Gilas mainstay.
Aguilar said he’s now addressing the need to play more aggressively at the slot by undergoing regular personal training sessions with assistant coach Glen Capacio.
“Pina-practice ko ngayon iyan (big man’s move) sa practice. May session ako with coach Glen. Bangga-bangga sa loob. I’m up to it naman, but I just need to learn that and put that in my game. Minsan iniiwasan ko yung contact. Di ko naa-absorb. So kailangan ko matuto, like the veterans who know how to use their bodies,” he said.