Japeth Aguilar watched helplessly on the bench as Barangay Ginebra lost its second straight game, a 99-102 decision to Commissioner’s Cup champion Alaska on Sunday night.
The 6’9″ high-leaping Gin King also watched the team helplessly as the league’s most popular ball club lost the battle of the boards, 39-50 with Alaska import Wendell McKines and super rookie Calvin Abueva combining for 27 rebounds.
Aguilar may not say it, but when he told me that he wanted to return in the soonest possible time after suffering a sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament) on his right knee, it was obvious that he badly wanted to help the Gin Kings in their bid to end the franchise’s five-year PBA title drought.
The 26-year-old Aguilar landed awkwardly on his right knee after trying to go for a baseline dunk against Barako Bull’s Mick Pennisi and import Mike Singletary.
Now, the Gin Kings will have to contend without two big men in Aguilar and Kerby Raymundo, who has yet to play this conference after suffering a bruised knee prior to the start of the Governors Cup.
The return of the 6’5″ Raymundo, who found a new lease on life to his career during the Commissioner’s Cup under erstwhile Barangay Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua, remains uncertain up to this point.
Aguilar said he’s been thinking of ways how to “speed up” his recovery from the MCL sprain, like workouts he will do personally outside the prescribed rehab from famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. Raul Canlas.
Returning earlier than Canlas’ diagnoses of four to six weeks of absence might not be a good idea since that could aggravate Aguilar’s injury.
Aguilar said he’s not gonna try to do his workout and rehab in haste. Instead, here’s what he intends to do:
“Titingnan ko kung makabalik ako in two weeks. Tingin ko kung ite-therapy ko, mabilis magiging recovery ko, iniisip ko na mga workouts na gagawin ko,” he said.
Should Aguilar follow the four to six weeks of missing in action this conference, the 6’9″ Gilas Pilipinas backup center won’t be able to play the single-round elims, and perhaps, miss much of the playoffs, if the Gin Kings manage to make it deep in to the latter rounds.
What do you think: Should Aguilar try returning within two weeks, or just follow the prescribed time table of Dr. Canlas?