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Aguilar on return to PBA play: It's nice to be out there

Japeth Aguilar returned to play on Saturday night. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--With a crucial PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal edge at stake on Saturday night, Ginebra coach Tim Cone decided to deploy big man Japeth Aguilar in Game 3 of the best-of-five series against Rain Or Shine at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Aguilar is currently in injury bay, suffering from a bum Achilles tendon, and according to Cone, he only got back to practice the day before, although it was just "a few walkthroughs."

"It's nice to be out there. At least na-gauge ko siya kasi iba yung intensity sa laro eh," Aguilar told reporters after the game.

He, however, admitted that the pain is still there.

"Di pa talaga ako komportable," the six-foot-nine forward rued. "Ayoko siyang i-full effort."

Attesting to that, Cone added, "He had a couple of bad landings. His legs gave a little bit. I saw that, so I pulled him out. He's not yet in game shape."

However, Cone still lauded him for providing instant impact for Ginebra especially in the first half, when the team opened a huge lead enough to withstand ROS's second half blast to take a 75-72 win.

[Related Story: Ginebra survives ROS's Q4 run for 2-1 semis lead]

"What an impact he was for us, and we really missed him," Cone further said.

What's more? He can opt to give Aguilar a longer playing time in Game 4 on Monday night as the latter said that he is recovering pretty well.

"Everyday naman, nag-i-improve siya," Aguilar said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno