Confidence boost for Japeth
Japeth Aguilar hopes to again provide spark for the Gin Kings as they try to close out the series.
In his second appearance in the best-of-seven series after missing weeks due to a calf injury, Aguilar provided the Gin Kings some spark in Game Five against Meralco and is determined to help the team complete the title run.
“Every day naman, it’s getting better. Sobrang behind the scenes, talagang ginagawa ko rin lahat para lumakas siya. Therapy ko, four hours and then ‘yung mga PT namin, they are there,” said Aguilar.
Ginebra took a 3-2 series lead over Meralco with a 115-110 victory, with Aguilar delivering six points, two rebounds and two blocks in 15 minutes of play highlighted by an alley-oop dunk in the second period that sent the Ginebra fans into a fenzy.
The Gin Kings look to end the series on Wednesday but while he got a huge confidence boost in Game Five, Aguilar said they remain wary of the Bolts.
“Kasi talagang inunti-unti ko hanggang sa makatalon ako. ‘Yung nakuha ko ‘yun, parang unti-unti na akong nakabalik sa rhythm ko.
"Parang at that moment, masaya ako na naka-boost ako sa team pero kailangan talaga mag-ingat kami against Meralco,” said Aguilar.
Belo determined to deliver
Mac Belo hopes to give more to Meralco.
MERALCO is seeking solutions to the problem that is Ginebra and is hoping to get a lift from the bench.
Mac Belo is hoping to help.
“Finals na ito. First finals appearance ko, kaya ibibigay ko na lang yung best ko,” said Belo, who had four points and two rebounds in over 12 minutes of action.
Acquired in 2021 in a deal that sent Baser Amer to Blackwater, Belo is making his first career PBA Finals appearance and is eager to contribute.
“Basta tinawag ako ni coach, ready naman ako lagi. Prepared naman ako, lagi naman akong nakikinig. Basta ready lang ako lagi.”
Hardly felt in the first two games of the series and benched in the next two, Belo gets another chance to chip in as the Bolts try to extend the title series.
“I expect him to play on Wednesday,” said Bolts coach Norman Black after Game Five.
“He came in and really helped the team. He executed well on our defense and that’s one of the reasons why we caught up.”
Korean league opens doors to Filipino players
Thirdy Ravena's first pro club is in the B.League, while brother Kiefer moved from the PBA to Japan.
THE South Korean pro league will open its doors to Filipino players starting in the 2022-2023 season.
The Korean Basketball League approved the expansion of its Asian Players Quota, previously limited to Japanese players.
The teams will be allowed to sign players from the Philippines — excluding naturalized Filipino citizens — for a minimum of one year to a maximum of five years.
According to a report by Jumpball, the Filipino players won't be counted against the clubs' two-import quota and will not have any playing restrictions for the duration of the league.