VETERAN big man Kerby Raymundo sees a more exciting Barangay Ginebra in the coming months as he likened new acquisition Japeth Aguilar to American reinforcement Vernon Macklin.
“Siyempre, yung excitement ng game mas tataas dahil sa pagpasok ni Japeth, para kaming may isang semi-Macklin,” Raymundo said, referring to the Gin Kings’ athletic import who helped the team to a runner-up finish recently in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The 6-foot-6 Raymundo said since Aguilar is quick and likes to play above the rim, lob passes from playmaker LA Tenorio as well as rim-rattling dunks will soon be part of Barangay Ginebra’s game.
“Hopefully, healthy si Japeth once sumama na siya sa team. He’s very athletic kaya nakaka-excite yung pagdating niya sa team,” added the 32-year-old Orion, Bataan native.
The Gin Kings managed to overcome a 0-5 start in the mid-season conference, pulling off giant victories over Rain or Shine and fancied Talk ’N Text in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, to reach the title series.
But Barangay Ginebra failed to match up with Alaska’s size and heft as it suffered a 0-3 sweep at the hands of the rampaging Aces.
However, Raymundo believes that Aguilar can address the team’s need for additional defensive presence because of his shot-blocking ability.
“Malaki na ang in-improve ni Japeth since pumasok siya sa PBA. Malaking bagay yung mag-camp siya sa US. Tingin ko he can play the five spot kaya makakatulong siya sa shot blocking at rebounding,” noted the 2002 Governors Cup Finals MVP, whose playing minutes increased dramatically during the playoffs under coach Alfrancis Chua.
On Tuesday, the high-leaping Aguilar was dealt to Barangay Ginebra in exchange for rookie Yousif Taha and a 2013 first-round pick.
Aguilar is currently with the Gilas Pilipinas squad in Palanga, Lithuania as part of the national squad’s preparation for the Fiba Asia men’s championship. The country is hostingba the Fiba Asia showpiece for the first time in 40 years.