Japeth Aguilar glad to see partner Greg Slaughter back, hopes injury nothing serious
Japeth Aguilar scores two of his 19 points on an emphatic dunk. Jerome Ascano

JAPETH Aguilar welcomed with open arms the return of Barangay Ginebra frontcourt partner Greg Slaughter, whose presence according to him ‘makes his job easier’ with the Kings.

“It’s nice to have him inside. Kanina we have a nice high-low play na isa sa mga talagang na-miss ko nung naglalaro kami during the Commissioner’s Cup and All-Filipino,” said Aguilar of his fellow big mn, who finally suited up for the team on Friday night in the PBA Governors Cup after sitting out the Kings’ first eight games while recovering from ankle surgery.

Slaughter  played for only 10 minutes in his comeback game and finished with seven points on 2-of-3 shooting while adding four rebounds and committing three turnovers before finally being recalled to the bench early in the fourth after hurting his right knee in an awkward fall.

He never returned to the game, which the Kings nonetheless won, 93-86.

Aguilar said in the limited playing minutes given to the 28-year-old Slaughter, the former Ateneo star showed what exactly he gives to the league’s most popular ballclub.

“Sa konting time na naglaro si Greg talagang nakita namin yung impact niya sa game,” he said of Slaughter.

[See Slaughter heads straight to hospital for MRI after injury scare]

He’s keeping his fingers crossed Slaughter didn’t sustain a serious injury on his knee, although the mere fact that he was able to stand on his own was a good sign already.  

“Positive thing na tumayo siya kanina and he walked. Feel ko naman na he’s out of danger,” he added. “Hopefully lahat ng result sa MRI niya is negative.”

With Slaughter sitting out the rest of the final quarter, Aguilar connived with import Justin Brownlee in turning back a late Mahindra charge.

Aguilar scored nine in the period to finish with 19 in Ginebra’s seventh win as against two losses. He also added four rebounds and three block shots while going 7 of 14 from the field.

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Brownlee topscored for the Kings with 27 points – eight in the fourth – 17 rebounds and four assists.

Aguilar said Brownlee is the man the Kings really go to.

“Siya yung talagang nagbubuhat sa amin. Kaya sana matulungan namin siya. Alam din naman ng mga teammates ko yun,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos