Better for Ginebra mistakes to come out now than in PBA playoffs, says Japeth Aguilar
Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar scored 15 points in the first half of the game against NLEX, but only two the rest of the way. Jerome Ascano

BARANGAY Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar admitted that the loss to NLEX is a bitter pill to swallow, but prefers to see the Kings' shortcomings come out now than deep in the PBA playoffs.

“For me, okay lang 'yung talo na ito as long as we learn from this,” the 6-9 forward said, moments after the Kings' 97-81 loss to newcomer NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay said he would rather have Ginebra's shortcomings come out now, since it would give the team enough time to address them in time for the games that really matter.

[Underdog NLEX deals Ginebra first loss of season behind mean finishing kick]

“Mahirap na you go unbeaten in the elims, kasi mas okay na ma-solve yung mistakes namin kesa bandang huli, dun pa mangyari (yung mga talo),” he added.

The 6-foot-9 Aguilar started like a house on fire against NLEX, scoring 15 points that included several rim-rattling breakaway dunks in the first half. 

But the high-leaping big man out of Ateneo only scored only two points the rest of the way after struggling against NLEX’s zone defense in the second half.

Aguilar admitted that the team as a whole failed to make the right plays when it mattered most.

“They (Road Warriors) just gave us different looks and obviously, we need to work on a lot of things in practice. We were exposed early,” said the 26-year-old Ginebra big man.

He also pointed to the team’s 19 turnovers - five of them his, by the way.

“We need to take care of the ball more,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava