BARANGAY Ginebra tried to acquire Japeth Aguilar just before the trade deadline but failed to swing a deal with Globalport, multiple sources from both camps admitted on Thursday.
Badly needing to shore up its frontline for the Commissioner's Cup playoffs with starter Billy Mamaril out injured, Ginebra tried to work out a trade for Aguilar and former player Willie Miller in exchange for seldom-used big man Yousif Taha, Elmer Espiritu, and Robert Labagala.
The deal, however, failed to push through as the deadline for player movements lapsed on Thursday, although Ginebra did manage to acquire Fil-Am guard Josh Urbiztondo from Barako Bull in another trade for rookie Keith Jensen and a future second-round pick.
“Gusto kasi nung isang team, i-maintain yung mga players nila up to the third conference. Nag-a-adjust pa kasi (yung players sa isat-isa),” said the source on the aborted trade.
The failed bid was confirmed by sources from the two camps.
“Tingin ko malabo na yan, kasi maikli na rin yung panahon para sa preparasyon. Mabubulabog yung team nung isa. Huwebes na ngayon, Sabado yung laban (ng Ginebra). Paano isisingit (si Aguilar) sa rotation?” said another source.
Aguilar has long been on the radar of Ginebra, and was in fact bound for the Kings camp under the original terms of a six-team, multi-player deal put together by five teams (Click here for related article) prior to the start of the Commissioner's Cup.
When San Miguel Corp. suddenly pulled out of the transaction, former Talk 'N Text mainstay Aguilar ended up at Globalport which has since made the former US NCAA Division I player a fixture in its starting rotation.
Swinging a deal for Aguilar at this time has become more difficult for Ginebra, especially with Globalport owner Mikee Romero standing path on his belief that the former Ateneo center can be a major piece in Batang Pier's ambition to build a future championship contender.
There were also doubts that even if the two sides managed to agree on the swap, the deal would get the approval of the PBA Commissioner's Office under the terms laid down by Ginebra.