UNKNOWN to many, Japeth Aguilar’s compression shorts became an issue prior to Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Qatar.
A Gilas team insider confirmed that a Fiba-Asia tournament official asked Aguilar to take off his compression shorts, a protective gear usually worn underneath the playing shorts that provide support to the thighs, groin, and and waist, prior to the match.
His beef? Aguilar’s compression shorts was noticeably a few inches longer than the cager's playing shorts and went all the way below his knee.
“Pinapatanggal ‘yung compression shorts kasi kapag lumagpas daw (sa playing shorts), may violation,” said the team insider.
There is a Fiba rule on what a proper uniform should be, but it is silent as to the penalty.
But the tournament official was persistent, threatening to slap Gilas a technical foul even before the opening tip if Aguilar refuses to take off the compression shorts.
“The penalty is a technical free throw for the other team daw,” said the Gilas source. “But for me, there is no violation. Bumabagsak lang. You will just create problems for a beautiful tournament.”
To break the impasse, Aguilar merely pulled up his compression shorts, raising it high enough to hide it underneath his playing shorts.
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JEFF Chan’s shooting prowess on the Asian stage has once again revived comparisons with cage great Allan Caidic.
Chan is hitting at an amazing .655 clip for the tournament, coming up with a superb 4-for-5 clip from beyond the arc in the game against Japan. Although he struggled a bit with a 0-for-2 line against Taipei, he was 5-of-7 against Jordan and 3-for-5 against both Qatar and Hong Kong.
“Actually, hindi lang sa Fiba-Asia, sa PBA pa eh,” Chan said of the comparisons with Caidic, who holds most scoring and three-point shooting records in the PBA.
That Chan bears a striking resemblance to Caidic only fans the comparisons.
But while Chan is flattered, he said he is merely playing a particular role and not trying to imitate the player many consider as the best shooter to suit up for the Philippine team.
“Masaya ako na na-cocompare ako sa isang legend. Ako naman kasi, ginagawa ko lang naman ang trabaho ko na pinapagawa ni coach Chot,” said Chan.
The Rain or Shine Elastopainter hopes to keep the numbers up, as Gilas Pilipinas battles Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals.
“Keep on shooting. Hopefully, mag-click lahat para madali ang trabaho ng lahat,” said Chan.
While making the long bombs can help break the opponents’ defense, Chan said that he will also be focused on playing defense especially now that they are set to face tougher opponents.
“Maging disciplined sa defense. Hindi natin dapat i-take lightly ang Kazakhstan. Malalaki rin sila,” said Chan.