Monday, September 17, 2012

[Late Post] Japeth Aguilar update


Source : Asian Journal

WOODLAND HILLS – TWO National Basketball Association (NBA) scouts were in attendance to watch former Philippine Basketball Association No. 1 pick Japeth Aguilar on Wednesday.

Wearing a certain NBA teams colors, the 6’9” Aguilar certainly dressed the part as a member of that team during his workout at a high school in Woodland Hills, Ca.

The scouts, who did not want their affiliation to be named or mentioned, barred ABS-CBN and Asian Journal from attending the private workout.

Though it’s been widely reported that the San Antonio Spurs were one of the two teams working out Aguilar on Wednesday, Aguilar’s U.S. based agent Chris McGarry neither confirmed nor denied those reports.

“Well, it’s all over the news. As far as we can say we’re not going to disclose any team, [or] disclose any location,” he said. “All we can say is that he [Aguilar] had a private workout and call up and we obliged. All we can say is that we’re happy with what happened. We’re happy with the situation.”

The scouts also placed a gag order on the workout participants citing team policy. The scouts did not want anyone to disclose whether Aguilar did well or not so well.

According to sources that attended the workout but not authorized to speak, the session consisted of basic “game simulated NBA drills.”

The workout lasted a little over an hour, said the source.

Though, Aguilar and his team could not speak on how well he did, they seemed to be in good spirit and confident after the workout.

The 25-year-old Aguilar said he feels blessed to have this opportunity to showcase his skills in front of the best talent evaluators in the world.

“God is good. He helped me get this opportunity. Earlier we did a lot of shooting drills, the kind of drills that the scout wanted to see. And let’s just hope for the best.”

McGarry said Aguilar is the first Philippine born and raised basketball player to ever receive an invitation to workout with an NBA team. Raymond Townsend, who is half-Filipino, was the first person of Filipino descent to play in the NBA.

Since arriving from the Philippines, Aguilar has been working with skills coach Leo Balayon to help him transition from a power forward and center where he played in the Philippines to a small forward, a position NBA personnel have tabbed him.

Balayon said Aguilar is improving everyday. They are working on his mid-range jump shot, speed and driving to the basket.

“It’s going to take time. I’ve only had him for two weeks and he’s gradually getting better,” said Balayon, who serves as an assistant coach for Caltech Men’s basketball. “He’s got the form and stroke down. Now, it’s all about repetition.”

The 210-pound Aguilar is also trying to gain weight and bulk up. He’s trying to eat six times a day.

Aguilar admits it’s been an overwhelming experience since news of his NBA tryout hit the mainstream.

His facebook has been flooded with well-wishers and a few detractors.

“For me I didn’t want it that way. I just wanted to stay quiet,” he said. “Right now, I just want to improve everyday, do my conditioning in the morning, do some on-court workouts in the afternoon [and] work on getting faster, getting stronger.”

Aguilar said he’s used to the criticism.

“I don’t let it bother me. I’m actually used to it,” he said. “What would you do if you were in my situation? It’s my dream to play in the NBA. I thank God I have this opportunity to try out.”

Aguilar explains that when he came out of Western Kentucky and participated in the D-League try out in 2009, he received three offers to play in the U.S. He said he turned them down because he wanted to play in the Philippines.

Filipinos are such die-hard basketball fans, he knows there’s a lot of pressure on him to succeed. He believes this experience does not only benefit him but also for future Filipino basketball players.

“It’s going to open doors to some aspiring Filipino basketball players not only in the Philippines but here in America,” he said.

After performing well at the open try out for the Bakersfield Jam over the weekend, Aguilar has received a lot of basketball offers from around the world.

His agent said aside from the NBA workout, they’ve received a contract offer from a team from the Chinese Basketball Association, one from the National Basketball League of Canada, and also a call from the Harlem Globetrotters who have expressed a strong interest in the Filipino.

Aguilar, however, is committed to his goal, his dream of playing in the NBA.

He said he’s going to wait for offers from an NBA D-League or if God willing an NBA tea

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