PBA Governors' Cup

Japeth Aguilar injury dampens Ginebra semis win vs NLEX

Delfin Dioquino
Japeth Aguilar injury dampens Ginebra semis win vs NLEX

SIDELINED. Japeth Aguilar sits out almost the entire second half due to his injury.

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Ginebra star Japeth Aguilar aggravates his calf injury following an awkward landing in the third quarter of their Game 1 win over NLEX

MANILA, Philippines – It was not all good news for Barangay Ginebra even after it drew first blood against NLEX in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals on Wednesday, March 23.

The Gin Kings saw star forward Japeth Aguilar go down with a left calf injury early in the second half following an awkward landing. He did not return.

Aguilar tried to contest a Cameron Clark jumper with more than 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, but he limped after his block attempt and needed to be assisted on his way out of the court.

“It put a real dampener on our win,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

Cone bared Aguilar only aggravated the injury after he hurt his calf in their quarterfinal decider against TNT last Saturday, March 19.

“He missed the last two days of practice because he was not sturdy on it. We do not know if it got worse or what happened.”

Fortunately for the Gin Kings, several of their other players rose to the occasion in their 95-86 win after Aguilar exited the game, most notably Arvin Tolentino.

Tolentino scored all of his 11 points in the second half, including 8 in their third-quarter turnaround.

The possibility of Aguilar missing time, though, would be a huge blow for Ginebra considering he has been one of their best players in their recent games.

Aguilar averaged 23.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in their back-to-back quarterfinal victories over the Tropang Giga as the Gin Kings overcame a twice-to-beat disadvantage.

Cone, however, knows he has to rely on his other wards in case Aguilar needs to sit out to let the injury heal.

“The thing with injuries, I think from a coaching standpoint is that you can only feel bad about it for 10 minutes and then you got to move on,” Cone said.

“It is a team sport, there are other guys who can step up and fill the role.”

Ginebra shoots for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five affair on Friday, March 25. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.