Injured Japeth Aguilar, Kelly Williams cautious about return as PBA finals near

Apr 4, 2023

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Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar and TNT’s Kelly Williams are still uncertain for the PBA Governors’ Cup finals

MANILA, Philippines – As bad as they want to see action in the PBA Governors’ Cup finals, Japeth Aguilar and Kelly Williams both err on the side of caution when it comes to their respective comebacks.

The two big men are still uncertain for the best-of-seven championship clash, which will pit defending champion Barangay Ginebra against TNT starting on April 9.

“We don’t know yet. He’s not back fully in practice yet. We’re just taking it day by day with Japeth,” said Gin Kings head coach of Aguilar.

Aguilar played just the first two games of the conference before he went down with a knee injury in February.

But Ginebra remained a force even without Aguilar, winning 10 of its last 13 games, including a historic semifinals sweep of San Miguel, with Christian Standhardinger emerging as the Best Player of the Conference favorite.

The return of Aguilar, though, will be a welcome development as the Gin Kings need all hands on deck to foil a formidable Tropang Giga side that lost just twice this conference in 16 games.

“Hopefully, he makes small increments in progress. Only he will know if he’s ready to go,” Cone said.

Williams, meanwhile, suffered a calf injury at the start of the playoffs after starting all games for TNT in the elimination round.

The former PBA MVP said he is feeling better two weeks since he got hurt, but he does not want to risk aggravating his injury.

“Obviously, I want to be out there. But I’m just taking it slowly. I’m working with the team doctor and [physical therapists] to make sure I’m coming in wisely,” said Williams.

TNT, after all, aced all of its tests in the playoffs so far, making quick work of Phoenix in the quarterfinals and finishing off Meralco in four semifinals games.

“I’m 41 years old. There’s no margin for error here.” –

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