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Baldwin airs side on Aguilar benching

Japeth Aguilar, seen here low-fiving Jayson Castro, was relegated to a spectator against France.
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--If there is one not-so-glaring stat for Gilas aside from their 18 errors against France on Tuesday night, that would be Japeth Aguilar getting a DNP-CD barely a month cut off from an impressive showing in a pre-OQT tuneup against Iran.

Coach Tab Baldwin told the media what prompted him to keep the 6-foot-9 stretch-4 at the bench the entire game won by France, 93-84.

"We felt we wanted the offensive end of the floor covered. We really believe France had the ability to put points on the board. We knew from the start that it's gonna be tough to keep the score down. We wanted to. But we didn't think our personnel can just go out there head-to-head to shut them down. We also needed to score. Thus, playing Del [De Ocampo] and Troy [Rosario] more," Baldwin explained the move, which somewhat backfired as the TNT duo combined for only nine points on 4-of-14 shooting.

Rosario, however, was lauded by Baldwin for the hustle.

"Troy gave us a lot of extra possessions with his work on the boards," the gaffer said of the PBA rookie, who grabbed seven offensive rebounds and nine in total along with one block.

On De Ocampo's so-so night, only making 1-of-4 from beyond the arc and making three turnovers, Baldwin said, "He didn't hit the shots that we know he can hit. He didn't even get enough shots."

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