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    Cone in no rush to lift minutes restriction on Japeth Aguilar

    Jan 9, 2023
    Japeth Aguilar Ginebra vs Bay Area
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    JAPETH Aguilar is slowly regaining his old form heading to the homestretch of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

    The 35-year-old Aguilar hit double figures for the second straight time and played a pivotal role in a 101-91 win over the hard-fighting Bay Area Dragons that moved the Kings on the brink of taking home the mid-season championship.

    READ: Goorjian confident Nicholson, Yang can play in Game 6

    Aguilar had 12 points, six rebounds, and six block shots in the morale-boosting win, capping his performance with a poster-worthy, two-handed slam over Zheng Qilong in the final 35 seconds that sent the 21,823 pro-Ginebra crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena up on its feet.

    Coach Tim Cone admitted Aguilar is getting back his rhythm, but still not yet fully recovered from a gastro-related illness that has kept him from playing 100 percent in the title series.


      He said the son of former PBA player Peter Aguilar still has to play on restricted minutes as Cone alternates him with fellow big man Christian Standhardinger.

      “He’s tiring quickly. I think that’s the thing holding Japeth back,” Cone said. “Three or four times up and down the floor, he starts to tire already. That’s why we tried a little bit of a shorter time between Christian and Japeth.”

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      Aguilar suited up for 22 minutes and Standhardinger 28 minutes.

      “So between him and Christian, we have to rotate guys much more quickly than we normally do,” Cone said.

      “But hopefully Japeth will feel a little better.”

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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