Japeth hopeful to return earlier than expected
MANILA, Philippines – Brgy. Ginebra Kings’ big man Japeth Aguilar was sitting inside the locker room with street clothes on and stared blankly on the floor.
Moments earlier, he watched helplessly from the bench as his teammates collapsed in the endgame and lost a heartbreaker, 99-102, to the Alaska Aces, who kept their mastery of the Kings dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup Finals that ended in a 3-0 sweep.
There was no 6-foot-9 player on the floor for the Kings, who could have blocked or altered the game winner of Alaska import Wendell McKines inside the shaded lane in the final 12 seconds of the game.
“Mahirap manood habang ang mga teammates mo nakikipagbakbakan sa loob,” Aguilar told Philstar.com.
It was the first game Aguilar missed since he went down with a sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament) in his right knee Friday night against Mike Singletary of the Barako Bull Energy Cola.
“Sa ngayon wala pa [ginagawa] eh. Pahinga lang muna. Pwede lang akong mag-exercise,” said Aguilar, whose right knee is still swelling.
He can walk normally but the swelling can’t make him run and do his stuff inside the court.
“Ok naman siya, tight lang kasi namamaga,” said Aguilar referring to his injured knee.
It’s only the first time that the 26-year old big man from Pampanga has experienced this kind of injury that’s why he’s dealing with it with a lot of caution.
“Yun [four weeks] na siguro [ang time table] pero hopefully, sana mas maaga pa. Gusto ko palakasin muna bago ako makabalik,” Aguilar said.
If the four-week timetable stays, Aguilar will miss the rest of the elimination round and perhaps, a couple more in the playoffs should the Kings advance.