Barangay Ginebra needs to get Japeth Aguilar back as soon as possible, especially now that it teeters on the brink of missing the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
The reigning all-Filipino champions are set to miss the services of the star forward for quite some time as he deals with a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) on his left leg.
Aguilar sustained the injury in the fourth quarter of their 21-point loss to league-leading TNT on Sunday, September 12.
“I don’t know when he’ll be back at this point. It’s kind of day-to-day, but we’re hoping he can get back at some point,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said.
“It really depends on how strong his knee feels. It’s like a sprained ankle. You can play in a sprained ankle, but it’s very, very painful, it’s swollen, it’s hard to jump – same thing with his knee, with the MCL.”
Even without Aguilar, Ginebra snapped its two-game losing streak as it came back from 19 points down to stun Phoenix in an inspired 94-87 win.
Stanley Pringle came out with guns blazing in the victory, tallying 31 points and 7 rebounds.
Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio bounced back from a scoreless outing against TNT with 23 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds against Phoenix, while Christian Standhardinger had 21 points and 12 boards.
Still, Ginebra would rather have Aguilar on the floor as it sits at eight place with a 4-5 record for the last quarterfinals berth.
Those seeking to kick Ginebra out of the playoff picture include Phoenix (4-6), Terrafirma (3-6), and Alaska (2-4).
Having not won consecutive games this conference, Ginebra has to get its act together as it needs to beat Meralco and Alaska in its last two elimination round games to secure its place in the quarterfinals.
“We got to figure this out,” said Cone. – Rappler.com