HAD a trade in the pre-Commissioner's Cup break pushed through according to plan, Japeth Aguilar should've been wearing Ginebra's white and red - and not Globalport's green and black - on Friday night.
Aguilar's performance only showed what Ginebra missed after passing up on him.
The enigmatic big man out of Ateneo put together a third solid performance in as many games for Globalport, scoring eight points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots in the Batang Pier's 89-80 victory over the lackluster Kings at the Big Dome.
The 6-9 Aguilar proved a perfect frontline partner for Globalport import Justin Williams as the two combined with the trio of Sol Mercado, Gary David, and Willie Miller in a performance that left a pro-Ginebra crowd with little to cheer about.
“Naisip ko lang yung crowd na alam ko favored sa kanila. I just need to pick up the energy, play aggressive and play smart,” said Aguilar, who should have ended up at Ginebra in a multi-team deal last month until San Miguel officials pulled the plug on the trade.
Aguilar ended up at Globalport instead, and the Mikee Romero-owned franchise has benefited from the resurgence in the big man's game since his failed attempt to land a spot in the NBA.
In three games with the Batang Pier, Aguilar, who signed a P5 million, three-conference contract with the franchise, is averaging 15.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and two blocks in 36 minutes of action – all career-highs for the four-year pro.
“Sa akin naman kasi, kung ano ang kailangan ng team, ginagawa ko para makatulong kasi yun din talaga ang goal ko this conference,” he added.
The 26-year-old Aguilar also heaped praise on Williams as Globalport got off to a strong 2-1 start in the import-laced mid-season conference.
“Grabe ang energy niya. Halos binubuhat niya na ang team. Pero complement din kasi kami dahil tinutulungan ko siya sa help defense,” he said.
Aguilar will face his former team Talk ‘N Text and his former college coach Norman Black next Wednesday. He promises to give his best, though he’s quick to add that nothing will be personal.