MANILA, Philippines – Returning Japeth Aguilar had an auspicious Globalport debut, leading the Batang Pier to a thrilling 94-92 win against the Petron Blaze Boosters in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
After his unsuccessful attempt to play in the NBA, the former PBA No. 1 pick compiled 16 points, nine boards and four blocks. Aguilar then breathed a huge sigh of relief after his first game back.
"Ang laki ng pressure sa akin. Sobrang nakakahinga na ako nang malalim (The pressure for me is too high. I was relieved after the game)," said Aguilar.
"The crowd in PBA is really intimidating, but try to block all the distractions and I'm just happy right now that we won the game," he added.
The huge expectations on Aguilar are partly based on his own doing after supposedly demanding a trade because of lack of playing time from his former team the Talk n Text.
"I just try to play my best and give it my all and play hard within the system," said Aguilar.
Drilled about his newfound role with Globalport, Aguilar simply downplayed his game.
"Di naman nagbago ang laro ko from (when I was still with) Talk n Text. I still run the floor, get rebounds and provide weak side help on defense," said Aguilar.
Rumors are still floating around that various teams are interested in acquiring the services of the gangly 6'9 forward. But Aguilar brushed those aside, saying he is just focused on the task at hand.
"Right now, I'm just focused on giving my best wherever and play hard in whatever system I play for," he said.