Japeth Aguilar earns praise for making Fajardo work hard for his points
Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar blocks a shot by AZ Reid. Dante Peralta

IN the absence of injured slotman Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar holding the fort on defense for Ginebra.

June Mar Fajardo is impressed.

"Maganda ang depensa sa akin," said the reigning league MVP, who had to work for his 17 points against Aguilar in San Miguel's double-overtime 111-105 win over Ginebra. "Grabe siya tumalon at lagi niya ako naba-block."

Putting his athleticism and wide wingspan to good use, Aguilar made a crucial block on Fajardo in the final play of regulation to send the game into overtime.

[See Tenorio explains failure to call timeout late in Ginebra loss to SMB]

In the first extra period, Aguilar, who had 13 points and four blocks, unleashed a game-tying three-pointer before intercepting a pass to Fajardo to again save the Gin Kings' scalp.

His teammate, LA Tenorio, was pleased to see the former Ateneo big man excel on the defensive end.

"I think he's getting what the coach Tim (Cone) wants him to do on defense," said Tenorio. "I think he really needs to be more focused on defense kasi pag dating naman sa opensa kaya niya gawin lahat e."

"I think he did okay against June Mar. It's a good sign. Nakita namin na kaya niya."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros