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Injured captain Japeth Aguilar raring to play as PBA All-Star teams determined

Feb 20, 2023

ALL-STAR CAST. Japeth Aguilar will captain his All-Star team that will be coached by Tim Cone.

PBA Images

Sidelined with a knee injury, Japeth Aguilar drafts a well-rounded team for the PBA All-Star Game, where he will go up against a squad formed by Scottie Thompson

MANILA, Philippines — Japeth Aguilar hopes to complete his recovery by the time the PBA All-Star Game in Passi City, Iloilo comes off the wraps on March 12.

Aguilar, who will serve as captain after emerging as the top vote-getter, is currently nursing a knee injury that has kept him out of the final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers later this week.

“I still have time [to recover]. I am nearing the opportunity to be able to work out and undergo therapy so I hope my knee can recover quicker,” Aguilar said after the inaugural All-Star Draft at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong on Monday, February 20.

Aguilar is expected to miss “three to five weeks,” according to Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

Despite his potential absence, Aguilar drafted a well-rounded team that will be coached by Cone.

Aguilar selected six-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo, high-flyers Jamie Malonzo and Chris Newsome, Roger Pogoy, LA Tenorio, Mikey Williams, Paul Lee, Jeremiah Gray, Gian Mamuyac, Nards Pinto, and Terrence Romeo.

Meanwhile, reigning PBA MVP Scottie Thompson – the other captain – drafted Christian Standhardinger first followed by CJ Perez, Calvin Abueva, Robert Bolick, Arvin Tolentino, Kevin Alas, Jayson Castro, Stanley Pringle, Mark Barroca, and James Yap for his squad which will be mentored by Yeng Guiao.

On standby as injury replacements are Gabe Norwood, Calvin Oftana, Jio Jalalon, and Jeff Chan.

Both coaches are eager to test out their teams when they clash in the mid-season battle.

“We always wanna win. In All-Star Games, I think it’s really the coach who wants to win more than the players,” said Cone.

“These are new players, so you wanna have fun with them as well, and you wanna make sure they have fun, and you wanna make it entertaining for our fans,” Cone continued.

“I’m looking forward to just having fun. Of course, coach Tim Cone said that coaches really wanna win,” said Guiao.

Meanwhile, coaching deputies Caloy Garcia and Richard del Rosario will be in charge in the Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors (RSJ) Game on March 10 for the Stalwarts and Veterans, respectively.

Garcia’s team will have Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Oftana, Joshua Munzon, Encho Serrano, Anton Asistio, Tyler Tio, Shaun Ildefonso, brothers Mike and Matt Nieto, and Aris Dionisio.

Del Rosario’s squad, on the other hand, will feature Justin Arana, Ato Ular, Aaron Black, Allyn Bulanadi, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Adrian Wong, Jerrick Balanza, RK Ilagan, Javi Gomez de Liaño, and the injured Isaac Go.

The games will include gimmicks during the four-day spectacle.

According to PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro, the games will feature a four-point shot situated at around 27 feet beyond the basket, and will bring back the three-point dunk, which was introduced in a previous All-Star contest. – Rappler.com

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