BASKETBALL-crazy Filipino fans have long been dreaming of that day when a local-born Filipino gets to play in the NBA.
That’s why everyone seems to be rooting for restricted Talk ‘N Text player and former Smart Gilas national team member Japeth Aguilar as he pursues his and every Filipinos’ NBA dream no matter how daunting the task may seem.
Prayers and well-wishers greet Aguilar almost everyday on Twitter in the hope of him making it to the Golden State Warriors’ farm team in the NBA D-League, the Santa Cruz Warriors, which he hopes will be his first step towards the majors.
The NBA D-League begins this Friday and the deadline for the submission of the official lineups is just hours away.
As in every issue however, there are the doubting Thomases who call Aguilar’s dream as a “suntok sa buwan” thing.
Which gave me an idea for this column.
So I texted all the numbers of the coaches (more than 90% of them in the PBA right now) in my mobile phone’s contacts list this question:
“Coaches survey: From 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, what are the chances of Japeth Aguilar’s making it to the NBA, now or in the near future. Honest answers pls. Will not reveal respondents’ identities.
Just survey results. Thanks.”
Three hours after I sent out the text blast, a total of 16 coaches responded.
3.1 turned out to be the average of their answers.
‘5’ was the highest Aguilar got, while ‘0’ (yes, there were two coaches who answered with a ‘0’) was the lowest.
There was even one coach whose answer was “NBA -1, NBADL – 10”.
“Not strong enough at the 4 spot; not quick enough at the 3 spot and with limited range,” one coach explained his answer.
Most of them said Aguilar’s chances hinge on a team identifying his marketability to Filipinos in the US.
“The best chance is if there is a rich Filipino population in area and he can be used as a marketing tool,” said one coach.
“Has a chance because of marketing considerations,” another coach explained his answer of a 3.
I’m pretty sure there’s no Filipino basketball fan who doesn’t want Japeth Aguilar to make it to the NBA eventually.
But I honestly think there’s not many who realistically believe he can make it with his skills, pro experience, and most of all with the tough competition he’s up against.