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Aguilar inakay ang Gins sa 37th playoffs berth

Walang Greg Slaughter (dislocated thumb) ang Ginebra, kaya nambarako si Japeth Aguilar para tiyaking ‘di mapuputol ang streak ng crowd darlings sa playoffs ng PBA.

Biyernes ng gabi sa Smart Araneta Coliseum, dinomina ni Aguilar ang boards para ihatid ang Gin Kings sa 96-93 win laban sa TNT KaTropa.

Humablot ang 6-foot-9 big man ng 10 rebounds, 8 dito sa offensive end na pinagkunan niya ng bulto ng kanyang team-high 29 points tungo sa 6-3 card ng Gins.

“He was really active around the rim, putting putbacks, diving hard, getting a lot of cuts,” ani coach Tim Cone sa kanyang 32-anyos na center/forward. “That’s truly when he’s at his best is when he’s doing stuff like that.”

Nangolekta ng 50 points sa paint ang Gins, may 20 second-chance points din.

Kaya ni Japeth ang isolation plays at post-ups sa perimeter, pero ‘di ‘yun ang pinakamaangas niyang laro.

“His true game is diving and cutting to the rim and following guys to the rim, and cleaning up the garbage,” dagdag ng coach. “That’s what makes us really tough is when he’s doing that stuff. … Nobody can get up, he as high as he can, even the imports. He just towers over everybody with his long reach and jumping ability.”

Sa tulong ng double-double na 24 points at 16 rebounds ni Justin Brownlee at 19 points, 9 boards ni LA Tenorio ay nakasigurado na puwesto sa quarterfinals ng PBA Governors’ Cup ang Gins na nasa No. 4 sa kasalukuyan.

Pinahaba pa ng Ginebra ang league record ng playoffs appearances sa 37 straight.

Ayon kay chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, 2005 Fiesta Conference huling ‘di nakaalpas sa eliminations ang Gins nang sipain sa wild card game ng Red Bull.

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