MARCUS Douthit was glad frontcourt mate Japeth Aguilar was able to step up as he took the opportunity to rest his aching right calf late in Gilas Pilipinas’ victory over Kazakhstan on Friday night at the MOA Arena.
Aguilar, who blamed himself for letting Douthit do much of the work in a tight match against Hong Kong on Thursday, bounced back as he scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds including a few rim-rattlers that pumped up the crowd in the Philippines’ 88-58 victory over the Kazakhs.
Aguilar's stellar play allowed Douthit to play just 22 minutes after laboring for 31 minutes in a game against Hong Kong on Wednesday which Gilas was supposed to win easily, but couldn't.
Gilas' naturalized player scored five points and grabbed 10 rebounds. But more importantly, he was able to rest after sustaining a right calf injury against Qatar in a second-round match on Tuesday.
“You need rest whenever you can get it, especially that my leg is still sore. Defintely, I could use the rest. Hopefully, I could use it to perform well tomorrow,” said Douthit.
Douthit said the strong start allowed him much-needed time on the bench.
“We jumped on them early and made it easy for the rest of the game. They tried to fight back but we kept them on their toes,” said Douthit.
Chot Reyes praised Aguilar for his play, saying “I’ve always believed in his potential.”
Reyes, however, was quick not to give Aguilar too much credit, saying it might get to his head.
“Let’s stop complimenting him," the national coach said. "The last time we did it, he played lousy the next day.”