‘Who is Japeth Aguilar?’
Very few players in the history of Philippine Basketball has been as polarizing as Japeth Aguilar. First of all, who is Japeth Aguilar? Japeth is the son of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Peter Aguilar. Peter was listed as 6’6″, and played most of his PBA career with Ginebra San Miguel, one of the most popular teams ever in the history of the league.
Peter ended up with a son in Japeth that is taller than he is at 6’9″. Now, despite being a Basketball-crazy country, Filipinos are generally short, with Centers and Forwards generally averaging only around the 6’4″-6’6″. So any player over 6’7″ automatically generates a LOT of interest.
What makes Japeth even more intriguing is that not only is he taller than average, he is also quite athletic. He has an excellent vertical leaping ability, enabling him to dunk the ball consistently with ease with both hands, even during actual games. The last Filipino player I remember having this capability was the high-leaping 6’4″ Benjie Paras.
That combination of height and leaping ability has captured the imagination of most Philippine Basketball fans. For so long we have been unable to send a player to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and suddenly here is someone who is quick, tall and can jump high. Being a Basketball-crazy country, they (sadly) ignorantly thought he was an automatic NBA-caliber player. And most tragic of all, Japeth himself has been convinced of this idea.
The reality is that while Japeth is tall, and has excellent athleticism, he lacks the tools to become a good Basketball player. For one, he lacks the COORDINATION to be able to move well with the ball. You can see this clearly when he does his low-post moves, in which he is quite awkward with the ball. As a result, his post moves are now almost non-existent.