NORMAN Black believes Japeth Aguilar has a place at Talk 'N Text, so long as the wantaway center is willing to listen and forget about his trade demand.
Two days after Aguilar asked to be traded to another team, Black assured that his former player at Ateneo has a role to play in a Talk 'N Text team where part-time starting center Ali Peek is 37 and back-up Harvey Carey is 34.
But to latch on to that spot, Black said he needs Aguilar's complete trust.
“The key to Japeth is, if you could convince him like, ‘No matter what you think of yourself, this is what I think you should be doing to have a successful career’. I’m sure it would be worth giving it a try,” Black told Spin.ph.
Black showed great knowledge of Aguilar's game, pointing out not only the obvious upsides - height, athleticism, youth - but also the aspects which his former player needs to work on.
“Japeth’s a great shot blocker, a good rebounder. Actually, he can be a good rebounder. A really good help defender, but still needs to work on his individual defense, mainly because guys can outmuscle him anytime,” said Black, who just a week ago steered Talk ‘N Text to its third straight All-Filipino title behind its 4-0 sweep of Rain or Shine.
“Offensively, Japeth is more of a catch-and-shoot guy who can dive off a pick and roll to the basket, score. He’s not the type of guy that’s gonna be able to create on his own (because) his ball handling is not that good … that’s just my assessment,” he added.
Black disclosed that Globalport has shown interest in Aguilar, but he insists that no trade will happen unless the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper reserve center goes home.
“I know he won’t be traded while he’s in the States … With the teams I’ve had conversations with, they want a live body, they don’t want a ghost,” said Black.
"I know there was something on the table with Globalport, but they were one of the teams that wanted a live body, and still (Aguilar) out of the country."
Aguilar early this week expressed through his Philippine-based agent Marvin Espiritu his desire to be traded given the limited playing time he had with the Tropang Texters last season under then coach Chot Reyes.
In 52 games last season, Aguilar averaged 15.4 minutes, producing 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 shot blocks before moving to the US to pursue his NBA at the end of his three-year contract with the Texters.
Aguilar, who is turning 26 on Friday, has said he won't return to the country until he is traded to another team.