THE 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain will be as good a time as any for Japeth Aguilar to show off his skills before scouts and pursue his NBA dream.
That, however, is farthest from his mind right now.
The 6-9 Aguilar, who took time off from the local pro league last year to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA, vowed his focus will be on doing his job for Gilas Pilipinas and not on the numerous scouts that will surely be in the stands when they play in next year's world championships.
“Di ko na iisipin 'yun (NBA scouts watching at Fiba World Cup)," said Aguilar, perhaps the most athletically gifted big man in the country today. "We just need to play our game and play well. I think all those things should come after you play well.”
The newly acquired Barangay Ginebra center is coming off an impressive performance for Gilas, showcasing his talent while staying within Chot Reyes' system as the national team finished runner-up behind Iran and sealed its first stint in a world championship in 35 years.
Playing in the NBA has been the biggest dream of the high-flying former Western Kentucky Hilltopper, who was selected by the Santa Cruz Warriors in the 13th round of last year’s NBA D-League Draft but failed to make the lineup before being waived.
The Spain tournament should give him the opportunity to revive his NBA dream, but Aguilar said taking such a mind-set will only be a distraction for him and Gilas.
“Baka kasi pag inisip ko na may NBA scouts, I might not be able to play my game. So for me, I’d rather play because I want to help the (Gilas national) team,” Aguilar said.