Japeth Aguilar is taking extra care to avoid re-injuring his calf that sidelined him for a couple of games in Ginebra’s championship run in the Governors’ cup last season.
Aguilar admitted there was anxiety regarding his health after feeling some nagging pain prior to the start of the season, prompting the Gin Kings to take precaution in managing the 6-foot-9 forward’s fitness.
“I just want to be extra careful parang na-feel ko, it was kinda coming back, some nagging pain so I requested for check-up and really management lang talaga, di na rin tayo bumabata,” said Aguilar.
There were no signs of pain however for Aguilar at least in his first two games where he nailed a clutch jumper in Ginebra’s 85-82 victory over Blackwater last Sunday before putting up a 23-point, six-rebound performance against Rain or Shine on Wednesday.
But still, Aguilar and Ginebra are not taking any chances on the recently healed calf injury as Cone expressed his willingness to manage Aguilar's minutes, if not sit him out, just to assure his availability during the crucial stretches of the conference.
“We really gotta be disciplined off the court actually kailangan ko talaga alagaan to make sure na I’m healthy but na-manage naman but ang point lang is I gotta be ready come game day,” said Aguilar.
“We know that we have to be very careful with Japeth, we know that we have to be particularly prepared in that particular area of his body,” said Cone.
“Hopefully the management that we do gets him prepared for every game, obviously if he starts feeling it then we have to limit his minutes and if he's feeling bad then he may have to sit out but that's exactly what we are trying to prevent,” he added.
Cone said Aguilar is a vital part of Ginebra and his health would be crucial in the team’s campaign in the Philippine Cup and it was particularly evident in their last championship run and even in the first two games of the season.
“That's what happened to us in the Finals in the last conference and it showed. We went down 2-1 without him and when he came back we won three straight games so the value is there,” Cone furthered.
“You saw tonight how he dominated the paint defensively with his shot blocking and intimidation aside from the scoring that was a huge part of what this team is all about.”