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Marc Pingris awed by rapid improvement of Gilas teammate Japeth Aguilar: ‘Parang NBA player’
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel forward Japeth Aguilar has been making believers out of people all conference long.
Count his Gilas Pilipinas teammate and San Mig Super Coffee Mixers star Marc Pingris among them.
“Hindi naman siya ganyan dati. Mga past game niya before, struggle. Ngayon, laging best player. Parang NBA player eh. Yun na yata yung sinasabi nila,” he said.
“Talagang pinapakita niya sino si Japeth Aguilar. Dati naririnig ko, matangkad lang yan. Mataas lang tumalon. Pero ngayon hindi. Talagang ginampanan niya yung trabaho niya.”
Pingris and the Mixers pulled out a gritty win against the Gin Kings on Sunday, but had to fend off a second half charge led by twin towers Aguilar and Greg Slaughter.
“Grabe yung dalawa. Average ni Japeth, five blocks ata per game. Kanina hindi ko na nga nakikita yung ring eh. So bahala na lang, shoot ko na lang,” Pingris said.
“Grabe yung tinaas ng laro ni Japeth tsaka ni Slaughter, pero especially si Japeth. Sa ‘kin talagang bilib ako sa laro ni Japeth ngayon.”
Aguilar finished with 26 points, leading the Gin Kings’ fightback from an 18-point first half deficit. He also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked six shots.
Pingris spent plenty of time going against Aguilar in practices prior to the FIBA Asia Championship held in Manila last year. Pingris feels that their experience in that tournament is a major reason for Aguilar’s development and hopes the best for his younger Gilas teammate.
“Laking bagay rin nung paglaro niya sa FIBA. Andami niyang na-experience dun na mas malalakas yung mga nakalaban niya. Mas matatangkad pa. And then ngayon, tingnan mo yung nilalaro niya sa PBA,” he said.
“Hopefully tuloy tuloy na yung gagawin niya hanggang (FIBA World Cup).”
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