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gameface_one
11-10-2007, 05:13 PM
This thread is dedicated to the exploits of Japeth Aguilar as reported directly by our WKU Gameface Members and Hilltopperhaven.com eyewitnesses.

For the first news, we just received word that Japeth just scored 6 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, had 1 block, 2 assists and 2 steals in 17 minutes of action as WKU defeated Kennesaw State 96 - 61 in the first regular season game of the year.

Japeth's photos of the games shall be posted in the Japeth Gallery section (Players' Photo Gallery) in the Media Center.

pachador
11-12-2007, 04:45 AM
Japeth closing in on the NBA
By Bill Velasco
Monday, November 12, 2007
WESTERN KENTUCKY – Former Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagle Japeth Aguilar is the first homegrown Filipino to play basketball in the US NCAA Division 1 in more than 50 years, and is one season away from drawing NBA attention. The 6’10” small forward is a valuable sixth man for the Hilltoppers, who finished third in the Sunbelt Conference last season.

When Japeth was playing for the Blue Eagles, his father, 6’5” former Ginebra center Peter, put together a highlight reel of his son’s slam dunks, blocked shots and offensive exploits. He sent the DVD to a Bradley alumnus, who circulated it. Bradley then contacted Japeth, and flew him to Chicago. However, the school had run out of athletic scholarships.

Undaunted, the fleet-footed Japeth joined a camp in Chicago, and drew the attention of many college scouts. Narrowing his choices down to four, Japeth eventually settled on Western Kentucky, because he liked the system they used. It was a big leap for the gangling player.

Aside from the cold, it was hard in practice,” Aguilar told The STAR in an exclusive interview. “They’re all big, they’re all quick. Everyone can score, everyone can defend. So I had to focus on the little things.”

But his father, now a factory worker in Chicago, was never worried.

“From what I can see, he really loves basketball,” Peter said. “I don’t need to tell him to jog, run or practice his shooting. You can see it in him, he really works hard.”

Hindi ko siya pinipilit na mag-jogging ka, tumakbo ka, shooting shooting ka, makikita mo sa kanya, masipag siya.”

Initially, loneliness compounded Japeth’s adjustment, since there was only one Filipino family in the whole area around campus. Then, he met Jessica Magley, the 6’1” power forward of the Lady Toppers, daughter of a former NBA player. The smiling, caring junior has given Aguilar more focus, both in basketball and his studies.

“When I was back in the Philippines, I already thought I was working hard,” Aguilar admits. “Now, I learned what it means to work hard. If you want something, go and get it, because many other people want it, too.”

When All-American guard Courtney Lee graduates, Japeth will be a starter. As of now, he is the anchor of the Hilltoppers defense, and plays the high post. He also double-teams ballhandlers, causing many turnovers for WKU’s feared defense.

“If he gets to play in the NBA, it won’t just be for me, it will be for our country,” Peter says. “I just bank on what the Lord wants for him.”

The next two NCAA seasons will show just how real that dream can be for a Filipino like Japeth Aguilar.

pachador
11-12-2007, 04:46 AM
if japeth and the 6'1" jessica magley ay magkatuluyan, we may have a 7 footer or even 7'5" fil-am in 20 years:



Japeth closing in on the NBA
By Bill Velasco
Monday, November 12, 2007
WESTERN KENTUCKY – Former Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagle Japeth Aguilar is the first homegrown Filipino to play basketball in the US NCAA Division 1 in more than 50 years, and is one season away from drawing NBA attention. The 6’10” small forward is a valuable sixth man for the Hilltoppers, who finished third in the Sunbelt Conference last season.

When Japeth was playing for the Blue Eagles, his father, 6’5” former Ginebra center Peter, put together a highlight reel of his son’s slam dunks, blocked shots and offensive exploits. He sent the DVD to a Bradley alumnus, who circulated it. Bradley then contacted Japeth, and flew him to Chicago. However, the school had run out of athletic scholarships.

Undaunted, the fleet-footed Japeth joined a camp in Chicago, and drew the attention of many college scouts. Narrowing his choices down to four, Japeth eventually settled on Western Kentucky, because he liked the system they used. It was a big leap for the gangling player.

Aside from the cold, it was hard in practice,” Aguilar told The STAR in an exclusive interview. “They’re all big, they’re all quick. Everyone can score, everyone can defend. So I had to focus on the little things.”

But his father, now a factory worker in Chicago, was never worried.

“From what I can see, he really loves basketball,” Peter said. “I don’t need to tell him to jog, run or practice his shooting. You can see it in him, he really works hard.”

Hindi ko siya pinipilit na mag-jogging ka, tumakbo ka, shooting shooting ka, makikita mo sa kanya, masipag siya.”

Initially, loneliness compounded Japeth’s adjustment, since there was only one Filipino family in the whole area around campus. Then, he met Jessica Magley, the 6’1” power forward of the Lady Toppers, daughter of a former NBA player. The smiling, caring junior has given Aguilar more focus, both in basketball and his studies.

“When I was back in the Philippines, I already thought I was working hard,” Aguilar admits. “Now, I learned what it means to work hard. If you want something, go and get it, because many other people want it, too.”

When All-American guard Courtney Lee graduates, Japeth will be a starter. As of now, he is the anchor of the Hilltoppers defense, and plays the high post. He also double-teams ballhandlers, causing many turnovers for WKU’s feared defense.

“If he gets to play in the NBA, it won’t just be for me, it will be for our country,” Peter says. “I just bank on what the Lord wants for him.”

The next two NCAA seasons will show just how real that dream can be for a Filipino like Japeth Aguilar.

spirit65
11-12-2007, 12:23 PM
can anyone from WKU post a picture of jessica magley, the smiling, caring, 6'1" power forward who has given japeth more focus ....



if japeth and the 6'1" jessica madley ay magkatuluyan, we may have a 7 footer or even 7'5" fil-am in 20 years:




Japeth closing in on the NBA
By Bill Velasco
Monday, November 12, 2007

Initially, loneliness compounded Japeth’s adjustment, since there was only one Filipino family in the whole area around campus. Then, he met Jessica Magley, the 6’1” power forward of the Lady Toppers, daughter of a former NBA player. The smiling, caring junior has given Aguilar more focus, both in basketball and his studies.

Kid Cubao
11-12-2007, 12:34 PM
she looks hot, spirit65. may pagka-mulatto.

pachador
11-12-2007, 12:36 PM
showbiz da buzz uli:* *;D* * parang Halle Berry ang dating* :)


http://gorhody.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/magley_jessica00.html

http://www.wkusports.com/profile.cgi?profile=2020

mighty_lion
11-12-2007, 03:26 PM
OT: Pagnagloko si Japeth, lagot sa kuya. Laki nung katawan eh. ;D

irateluvmachine
11-12-2007, 08:47 PM
^i think that's the younger brother...dj magley is listed as a freshman...laki nga ng katawan, 6'9-260. ;D

not a bad debut for japeth, 6 points, 3 boards, 2 steals and 1 block in 17 minutes. nag-attempt pa nga ng tres, di nga lang pumasok...

Buttah Like Parkay
11-13-2007, 08:27 AM
All biases aside, the NBA dream is still a longshot for Japeth...Bill V. framed that article as if the road to the NBA is relatively easy. Japs still has a lot of hurdles to overcome. For one, WKU is a mid-major. There are a lot of talented players around the country that play for schools in major conferences and they would obviously get more attnetion from scouts.

Another one is that at this point, his basketball ability is still raw. Now, this one can be improved through focus and proper training. Hopefully, Japs does that. Hopefully, Japeth stays on his course...coz it's a long hard road if he really wants to make it in the L. It would be great to see him drafted, much more get some burn in an NBA game 3, 4 years from now.

I'm not quite sure about the draft class, but hopefully the big man class for the '09 draft is not as deep so our boy has more of a chance. I know that next years draft is gonna be guard/swingman heavy but i don't think he's gonna be ready for that. I'm really looking forward to thier matchup against 7th ranked Tennessee in December

spirit65
11-13-2007, 12:30 PM
she looks hot, spirit65. may pagka-mulatto.

hot, yes, but has a sweet face also. comes from a christian high school. and is sitting out the year because of transfer from rhode island just like japeth last year.
hope she remains someone who gives japeth focus and inspiration and not distraction ...

mga tsimoso, no ...

aircanda
11-13-2007, 06:33 PM
All biases aside, the NBA dream is still a longshot for Japeth...Bill V. framed that article as if the road to the NBA is relatively easy. Japs still has a lot of hurdles to overcome. For one, WKU is a mid-major. There are a lot of talented players around the country that play for schools in major conferences and they would obviously get more attnetion from scouts.

Another one is that at this point, his basketball ability is still raw. Now, this one can be improved through focus and proper training. Hopefully, Japs does that. Hopefully, Japeth stays on his course...coz it's a long hard road if he really wants to make it in the L. It would be great to see him drafted, much more get some burn in an NBA game 3, 4 years from now.

I'm not quite sure about the draft class, but hopefully the big man class for the '09 draft is not as deep so our boy has more of a chance. I know that next years draft is gonna be guard/swingman heavy but i don't think he's gonna be ready for that. I'm really looking forward to thier matchup against 7th ranked Tennessee in December



sa totoo lang.. i am a believer that japeth will someday play in the NBA..
KAYA NG PINOY! ;)

onggok
11-14-2007, 02:15 PM
Japeth stat. for today game.

2 pts., 7 rebs, and 3 blocks shot They won the game.

BigBlue
11-14-2007, 02:51 PM
his stats aren't that different from when he was still playing with the Blue Eagles. I guess you can say that's a good thing, considering the level of competition in the US.

Schortsanitis
11-14-2007, 03:34 PM
Japeth Aguilar's stats in the UAAP w/ the Ateneo Blue Eagles:

Japeth Aguilar ADMU 2004 Stats @ ubelt.com (Web Link) (http://www.ubelt.com/uaap/mbb/player.aspx?id=292&year=2004)

Japeth Aguilar ADMU 2005 Stats @ ubelt.com (Web Link) (http://www.ubelt.com/uaap/mbb/player.aspx?id=292&year=2005)

glock23
11-14-2007, 04:00 PM
im happy for japeth for doing well and getting inspired by a cute southern lass no less! Do the country proud!

ponce
11-14-2007, 04:08 PM
Japeth* stat. for* today* game.

2 pts., 7 rebs, and* 3 blocks shot* They* won* the* game.

How many minutes did he get?

BLUE HORSE
11-15-2007, 01:02 AM
Here is the stat line for Japeth:

Minutes played: 15
FG-A: 0-1
FT-A: 2-2
Rebounds: 5
Assist: 1
Fouls: 2
Blocks: 3

mighty_lion
11-15-2007, 02:55 PM
Ano na ba position nya ngayon? SF?

JonarSabilano
11-15-2007, 03:07 PM
Ano na ba position nya ngayon? SF?


PF/C. That's on defense. Minsan, sa top of the key siya nakapuwesto.

john_paul_manahan
11-15-2007, 06:47 PM
unlike dito na standard ang GGFFC ang lineup... sa tate, iba.

minsan GGGFF or GGGFC or in villanova's case in the lowry-ray- sumpter era, GGGGF

KuyaDanny
11-24-2007, 06:06 PM
WKU have already played two games in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage. and Japeth did not play in either of them. Is he injured?

VV3CBL
11-25-2007, 06:16 AM
WKU have already played two games in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage. and Japeth did not play in either of them. Is he injured?


Japeth Aguilar sat out 2 games at the Great Alaska Shootout. In the first game against Gonzaga, the Hilltoppers lost by a close margin. They could have used the services of Aguilar, during minutes when Lee was on the bench.

As seen on ESPN U, it seems Aguliar is wearing a foot brace on his right foot. I suspect a high degree sprain or hopefully not a foot injury.

gambitx
11-25-2007, 01:58 PM
if japeth and the 6'1" jessica magley ay magkatuluyan, we may have a 7 footer or even 7'5" fil-am in 20 years:



Japeth closing in on the NBA
By Bill Velasco
Monday, November 12, 2007
WESTERN KENTUCKY – Former Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagle Japeth Aguilar is the first homegrown Filipino to play basketball in the US NCAA Division 1 in more than 50 years, and is one season away from drawing NBA attention. The 6’10” small forward is a valuable sixth man for the Hilltoppers, who finished third in the Sunbelt Conference last season.

When Japeth was playing for the Blue Eagles, his father, 6’5” former Ginebra center Peter, put together a highlight reel of his son’s slam dunks, blocked shots and offensive exploits. He sent the DVD to a Bradley alumnus, who circulated it. Bradley then contacted Japeth, and flew him to Chicago. However, the school had run out of athletic scholarships.

Undaunted, the fleet-footed Japeth joined a camp in Chicago, and drew the attention of many college scouts. Narrowing his choices down to four, Japeth eventually settled on Western Kentucky, because he liked the system they used. It was a big leap for the gangling player.

Aside from the cold, it was hard in practice,” Aguilar told The STAR in an exclusive interview. “They’re all big, they’re all quick. Everyone can score, everyone can defend. So I had to focus on the little things.”

But his father, now a factory worker in Chicago, was never worried.

“From what I can see, he really loves basketball,” Peter said. “I don’t need to tell him to jog, run or practice his shooting. You can see it in him, he really works hard.”

Hindi ko siya pinipilit na mag-jogging ka, tumakbo ka, shooting shooting ka, makikita mo sa kanya, masipag siya.”

Initially, loneliness compounded Japeth’s adjustment, since there was only one Filipino family in the whole area around campus. Then, he met Jessica Magley, the 6’1” power forward of the Lady Toppers, daughter of a former NBA player. The smiling, caring junior has given Aguilar more focus, both in basketball and his studies.

“When I was back in the Philippines, I already thought I was working hard,” Aguilar admits. “Now, I learned what it means to work hard. If you want something, go and get it, because many other people want it, too.”

When All-American guard Courtney Lee graduates, Japeth will be a starter. As of now, he is the anchor of the Hilltoppers defense, and plays the high post. He also double-teams ballhandlers, causing many turnovers for WKU’s feared defense.

“If he gets to play in the NBA, it won’t just be for me, it will be for our country,” Peter says. “I just bank on what the Lord wants for him.”

The next two NCAA seasons will show just how real that dream can be for a Filipino like Japeth Aguilar.







Bill V,is just exagerrating(forgive me w/ the spelling) the story.... Japeth has not even gotten the attention of his opponents yet, and Bill is already saying that it seems one foot of Japeth is already in the NBA... Oh common!!!!

hoopster
11-26-2007, 11:20 PM
Japeth has not played for 4 consecutive games so far, and thats not a surprised at all because although Japeth has a height but he doesnt have the skilled and physical abilty to compete to his much quicker and tougher opponents and let us face the reality, he is by far not ready yet to this kind of competetion and WKU coach and his coaching staff realize that so lets just hope that he learn skills and experience when he go back to the Philippines and play where he belongs.

thadzonline
11-27-2007, 08:29 AM
Reports say Japeth is injured after he stepped on a basketball in practice before their game against Murray State..ankle injury, I think it was JunarSabilano who pointed that out to me

Asul
12-01-2007, 12:18 AM
nahirapan ako basahin yung isang post... ??? very complicated english

XsandOs
12-05-2007, 01:55 AM
I get the Fox College Sports package on my cable network. I recently caught a game between Western Kentucky and Nothern Arizona. When I watched the introduction of the starting line up and saw the team huddle before they took the floor, I could have sworn that I did not see Japeth...not in a uniform and not in dress clothes on the bench. I don't think he traveled with the team for that game. Can anyone confirm if he's injured...how long he is out for? It was a surprise not to see him after seeing photos of him in uniform on the court.

blu ram
12-05-2007, 06:21 AM
japeth was injured in practice 2 weeks ago - this according to his dad, peter who made a quick trip to bowling green...he will be playing in the dec 21 game which is also televised...a few of us friends will be seeing him at that time...

I get the Fox College Sports package on my cable network.* I recently caught a game between Western Kentucky and Nothern Arizona.* When I watched the introduction of the starting line up and saw the team huddle before they took the floor, I could have sworn that I did not see Japeth...not in a uniform and not in dress clothes on the bench.* I don't think he traveled with the team for that game.* Can anyone confirm if he's injured...how long he is out for?* It was a surprise not to see him after seeing photos of him in uniform on the court.

thadzonline
12-05-2007, 08:00 AM
thank God it was not really serious and he should be able to play soon

mighty_lion
12-05-2007, 11:00 AM
Guys, can you post schedules nung laro ng WKU in advance. I was trying to monitor sa clickthecity kaso ang hirap timingan. Sa balls naman kasi walang ako makitang press release ng schedules. Thanks.

thadzonline
12-05-2007, 03:55 PM
ang skeds ng WKU can be found sa athletics(men's basketball) section ng wku.edu

chba_dude
12-12-2007, 02:20 AM
See the btv website for the televised games of WKU, starting this Dec 16...

http://www.btv.com.ph/index.html

mighty_lion
12-12-2007, 09:08 AM
^ Thanks guys. Aabangan ko yan. Hopely sana fully recovered na si Japeth by that time.

john_paul_manahan
12-12-2007, 09:45 PM
checked the stats:

Kentucky Wesleyan (actually happened last november 13) - only game you'll probably see jap play

Northern Arizona (actually happened last december 1) -

Nebraska (actually happened last december 5)

Eastern Kentucky (actually happened last december 8)

North Carolina Central (currently scheduled on december 18)

hmmm.... the game versus Chris Lofton and the Volunteers seem to be missing.

true.blue
01-01-2008, 09:32 PM
What's the latest on Japeth? Is he still injured? Or is he just not part of the rotation? WKU has played 13 games and it looks like Japeth hasn't been fielded back in after those first two games he played in November.

thadzonline
01-01-2008, 10:37 PM
he is expected to return from foot injury early January daw

bluetruck
01-07-2008, 04:23 PM
if it's just a stress fracture then japeth should be fully recovered by now. it only takes 6 weeks for such injuries to heal. it's now probably just a matter of getting into game shape.

thadzonline
01-07-2008, 07:20 PM
on the live stats wkusports provided, his name was there although parang hindi lang yata ginamit

bluetruck
01-13-2008, 12:15 PM
what's the latest on japeth?

topgun
03-12-2008, 10:57 AM
Sun Belt Conference Championship game between Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee is being shown by ESPN live here in Florida. I saw Japeth cheering his teammates way at the end of the bench in uniform. Second half na hindi pa rin pinapasok ng coach. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of him playing just to see how much improvement he had since his Blue Eagle days. :-\

jkad
03-12-2008, 12:39 PM
Sun Belt Conference Championship game between Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee is being shown by ESPN live here in Florida. I saw Japeth cheering his teammates way at the end of the bench in uniform. Second half na hindi pa rin pinapasok ng coach. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of him playing just to see how much improvement he had since his Blue Eagle days. :-\


The Hilltoppers and Japeth are going to the dance...albeit mostly cheering from the sideline. He did get in the final game to commit one foul though.

yungha
03-12-2008, 03:18 PM
^ he did? strange, his name isn't in the box scores

BigBlue
03-12-2008, 03:24 PM
any word from Japeth himself, his thoughts on his NCAA experience thus far?

JonarSabilano
03-12-2008, 03:43 PM
any word from Japeth himself, his thoughts on his NCAA experience thus far?


http://hilltopperhaven.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=825

john_paul_manahan
03-13-2008, 12:34 AM
thank God that MTSU upset So. Alabama.

i think they will probably get a 15-seed. good luck to them.

BLUE HORSE
03-13-2008, 02:19 AM
Japeth was scheduled to go home to his family for easter. Now there is a change in plans depending on the results of their first round game next week. Per Peter Aguilar to Blue Ram, WKU coaching staff is still looking at the possibility of a 5th year for Japeth but the school will have to petition directly to the NCAA. For this to happen, Japeth can no longer be fielded in a game this season.

john_paul_manahan
03-14-2008, 08:09 PM
btw, as per lunardi's bracket set-up... the hilltoppers are seeded 13th. 12th. preliminary match-up with wade's old team.

JonarSabilano
03-17-2008, 09:06 AM
btw, as per lunardi's bracket set-up... the hilltoppers are seeded 13th. 12th. preliminary match-up with wade's old team.


It's official. They will be seeded 12th, and will play fifth-seeded Drake in Tampa. Height-wise, this is in WKU's favor as the starting forward is only 6'8". However, like most other MVC teams, this Drake team likes slowing down -- and almost everyone can shoot the 3.

bigfreeze_bibby
03-17-2008, 09:20 AM
Congratulations to the Hilltoppers for gaining a slot in March Madness. Sayang sana makapaglaro si Japeth at this type of an atmosphere since this is one of the happenings na hindi dapat pinapalagpas sa collegiate playing career ng isang college player sa US NCAA.

Goodluck to WKU.

john_paul_manahan
03-18-2008, 05:40 AM
based from what i know of drake. they space around and let Adam E. penetrate then kick out for the bombs.

i dont like this match-up. i like drake up to the sweet 16.

Buttah Like Parkay
03-22-2008, 08:37 AM
Ty Rogers...wow...shot of a lifetime.

Also, Ty Brazelton was outstanding and Courtney Lee was steady as usual (SMH @ Bill V. for bashing this dude in his coulumn)

aircanda
03-22-2008, 10:17 AM
Ty Rogers...wow...shot of a lifetime.

Also, Ty Brazelton was outstanding and Courtney Lee was steady as usual (SMH @ Bill V. for bashing this dude in his coulumn)


details naman of what happened to that game... ;D thanks ya'll

cub
03-22-2008, 11:04 AM
Ty Rogers...wow...shot of a lifetime.

Also, Ty Brazelton was outstanding and Courtney Lee was steady as usual (SMH @ Bill V. for bashing this dude in his coulumn)


details naman of what happened to that game... ;D thanks ya'll


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWOr7nsRkZk

glock23
03-22-2008, 11:31 AM
Japeth was scheduled to go home to his family for easter. Now there is a change in plans depending on the results of their first round game next week. Per Peter Aguilar to Blue Ram, WKU coaching staff is still looking at the possibility of a 5th year for Japeth but the school will have to petition directly to the NCAA. For this to happen, Japeth can no longer be fielded in a game this season.


Why the petition to the NCAA? dont they have the five playing years rule in the US like we do in the philippines? if so, sayang naman si japeth at na injure pa on his final year.

aircanda
03-22-2008, 02:49 PM
Ty Rogers...wow...shot of a lifetime.

Also, Ty Brazelton was outstanding and Courtney Lee was steady as usual (SMH @ Bill V. for bashing this dude in his coulumn)


details naman of what happened to that game... ;D thanks ya'll


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWOr7nsRkZk


napangiti lang ako.. congrats kay japhet at sa hilltoppers.. goodluck sa next round!

thadzonline
03-23-2008, 01:51 AM
battle of teams who have scored upsets so far: WKU Hilltoppers versus San Diego Toreros who also won at the OT buzzer

BLUE HORSE
03-23-2008, 12:22 PM
Japeth was scheduled to go home to his family for easter.* Now there is a change in plans depending on the results of their first round game next week.* Per Peter Aguilar to Blue Ram, WKU coaching staff is still looking at the possibility of a 5th year for Japeth but the school will have to petition directly to the NCAA.* For this to happen, Japeth can no longer be fielded in a game this season.* *


Why the petition to the NCAA? dont they have the five playing years rule in the US like we do in the philippines? if so, sayang naman si japeth at na injure pa on his final year.


The US NCAA have more stringent rules than the UAAP or the NCAA. Players are only allowed to play a maximum of 4 years. Players are allowed a fifth year of eligibility when one of the years is due to a medical red shirt, residency after a transfer. The only time a player is given a sixth year is if that player went on a religious mission, ie. for Mormons, or a player needed more time to overcome the cause of the medical red shirt. The schools petition for the additional year but ultimately it is the NCAA that decides on a case by case basis. The extra year will help the game of Japeth.

john_paul_manahan
03-23-2008, 02:28 PM
saya talaga pag nakikita mo si jap sa TV. cheering on his teammates.

i wonder if this moment even betters his moments here in ADMU.

BLUE HORSE
03-24-2008, 05:45 AM
It has been an exciting Sunday. The Hilltopers of WKU has made it to the sweet 16. It just beat upstart USD. The cinderella run may end this coming week in Phoenix with UCLA looming large in the horizon. Di bale, by making the sweet 16 WKU will earn more money this season than they invested in the basketball team. The funds can be used to offset the cost of the other non-revenue sports and pay a bigger paycheck to the head coach.

Another upset special. Tiny Davidson College just beat Georgetown. It is the second game wherein Davidson came back from a deficit behind the outstanding shooting of Curry. Are the ACC schools now sorry they did not offer the young Cury a scholarship because of his size. Even the alma mater of Dell Curry took a pass. The strategy of Davidson to schedule big games against the likes of UNC and Duke early in the season is paying off. The team is not fazed being the underdog playing in a neutral arena.

The success of coach Horn and Grear at USD is a double edge sword. Grear was suppose to be the successor to Mark Few at Gonzaga if Few left for grener pastures. Coach Grear decided not to wait any longer and took the risk of resurrecting the USD program. In short order, USD made to the promise land only to loose to coach Horn. The ESPN basketball analysts have tabbed both as the hottest new coaches. If there is a big time program looking for a new coach, they would merit a serious interview. Bruce Pearl of Tennessee was in the same boat several years ago when he steered UW-Milwaukee to the sweet 16 and Billy Gillespie stepped away from the shadows of Bill Self to successful coaching stops in Tulsa and Texas A&M before landing the big contract at Kentucky.

bigfreeze_bibby
03-24-2008, 10:36 AM
Aba, anung malay natin? WKU's upset of UCLA can be big and will be the biggest in the tournament is this happens. Yan ang kagandahan sa tournament na ito. Anything can happen.

aircanda
03-24-2008, 05:20 PM
katulad ng slogan ng gsw last playoffs..


WE BELIEVE!!!.. kaya yan.. bastat may puso.. bilog ang bola... hehehe goodluck sa WKU.. bata ko kayo!! kung pwede lang ipasok si Japeth at butatain si Kevin Love.. what a sight would that be.. aaaW!!!!

gameface_one
03-30-2008, 09:01 AM
In Huddle
Aguilar, now 6-9, has PBA in mind


By Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:39:00 03/30/2008


MANILA, Philippines—There has been a change in the career plans of former Ateneo cager Japeth Aguilar.

Japeth said he is not joining the NBA draft when he graduates from college two years from now. He will either play in the European leagues or return to the Philippines to play in the PBA.

We talked with Japeth over the phone during the PBA Legends Grand Reunion Tour in California. His father Peter had joined the group in Los Angeles and San Diego.

* * *

Now 20, Japeth is currently enrolled at the Western Kentucky University where he is taking interdisciplinary studies in psychology, sociology and philosophy. He is in his junior year and will graduate in another two years.

“We just won the Sun Belt Conference title over Middle Tennessee,” he happily informed us. “That will insure us a berth in the US NCAA.”

He said he didn’t get to see action in the championship, though.

* * *

According to Japeth, he has grown two inches since he left Manila. “I was only 6-7 then, I am 6-9 now,” he said.

The US-based PBA legend who has monitored his development in the United States said the once skinny cager has a new physique.

“You’ll be surprised if you see him now, Kasing-laki na ni Bong Alvarez ang katawan niya ngayon,” said Abet Guidaben, who requested that Peter produced a picture to show proof.

Digging into his handcarried bag, Peter fished out several photos of Japeth in action.

No doubt Japeth has turned into a muscleman.

* * *

In the three or four days that we were together in Los Angeles, neither Peter nor his wife Josie made mention of the NBA or the European leagues in connection with Japeth.

But we did talk extensively about the PBA. From all indications, it looks like the Aguilars will be returning to the Philippines in another two years.

* * *

Harbour Centre’s Mikee Romero called from Singapore the other day to set the record straight.

While he confirmed that he has been offered the sponsorship of the teams that will represent the Philippines in the Fiba-Asia Champions Cup in Kuwait and the 30th William Jones Cup in Taipei by BAP-SBP executive director Pato Gregorio, he has not said yes to either.

“I haven’t really had time to think about it,” said Mikee who was in the middle of a business meeting. “This is an entirely different level of competition we’re talking about. It’s a bit intimidating.”

Pato presented the proposal last Tuesday, March 25, after the PBA turned down his invitation for Fiesta Cup champion Sta. Lucia to play in the Fiba-Asia Champions Cup scheduled May 8 to 16 in Kuwait, due to conflict in schedule.

“I told Pato I will think it over,” Mikee said.

* * *

For the past months, the young businessman has been completely focused on his new mining ventures which is projected to earn billions for him if successful.

Mikee admits he has not had much time for basketball of late, since he has to travel frequently and extensively, sometimes as often as twice a week.

“I’m so busy I might not even have time to join the team in Jakarta,” he said.

RP-Harbour Centre leaves for Jakarta next Wednesday, April 2, to defend its Seaba-Champions Cup title. This competition is the qualifier for the Fiba-Asia Champions Cup in Kuwait.

* * *

According to Pato, there is a possibility that the SBP may be able to tap PBA players coming from teams that fail to qualify for the quarterfinals of the import-laden conference which started yesterday in Davao.

This was the information relayed to him by PBA executive director Rickie Santos, Pato said.

While Mikee remains non-committal, he has shown more interest in representing the country in the Jones Cup scheduled this July.

gameface_one
03-31-2008, 07:35 AM
Aguilar’s future

THE GAME OF MY LIFE

By BILL VELASCO
The Philipipine Star

It was a major disappointment for Filipino basketball fans not to see much of Japeth Aguilar in the US NCAA basketball tournament. In fact, we hardly got to see him at all. The 12th seeded WKU Hilltoppers rallied from 21 points down but eventually lost to top-seeded UCLA, 88-78, Friday.

Aguilar, a former Ateneo Blue Eagle, led the UAAP in field goal percentage and blocked shots as a 6’7" sophomore center, before his father, former PBA player Peter Aguilar, made a highlight reel of his games and had it sent out to schools on the US East Coast.

Three years ago, the younger Aguilar flew to Chicago, joined some camps, and was recruited by four different schools. He selected Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference, a strong basketball school in a relatively weak conference.

This season, Aguilar had bulked up, improved his ballhandling and shooting, and worked his way to becoming the first player of the bench for the Toppers. But late last year, he started feeling pain in his right foot. Doctors discovered a stress fracture, and Aguilar was sidelined for two months.

"When he was injured, he lost his spot in the rotation," said Peter Aguilar, a former Barangay Ginebra center, to The STAR in a text message. "I don’t understand why coach Darrin Horn didn’t put him back in the line-up."

WKU built its current team around 6-5 senior guard, Courtney Lee, an All-American who is a sure NBA first-round draft pick. Lee was the main focus of the defense of UCLA in the NCAA round of 16. The Bruins led by as many as 21 and the HIlltoppers were only able to cut the deficit to four before being knocked out of the tournament’s West Regional.

The good news is that the Hilltoppers have asked Aguilar to stay another year.

"When they found out Japeth was injured, they appealed to him to use another year of his eligibility, so he’ll play until 2010," the elder Aguilar confirmed.

With five players graduating, Aguilar will undoubtedly be a starter next season, with D.J. Magley (brother of Aguilar’s girlfriend, 6-1 Lady Hilltoppers power forward Jessica Magley) playing well, Aguilar will be able to stay out on the wings, where he had been used effectively in trapping, double-teaming and starting the fastbreak.

The team will not be lacking in size or outside shooting, either.

So what is the future for Japeth Agular?

At least three NBA teams are already aware of Japeth, who is the first homegrown Filipino in a US NCAA Division 1 basketball program in over 50 years. The Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle Supersonics, and Golden State Warriors all know about the emerging Filipino forward, and are waiting to see how he develops in the next two years. Of the three, the Warriors have the best shot, since the Sonics will likely move in the next two to three years, and the Lakers are much higher in the standings. Golden State would also benefit the most, since the team lacks size, and there is a huge Asian (and Filipino) market in the Bay Area. It was also the Golden State Warriors who recommended another Ateneo player, Gian Chiu, for a scholarship in Desert Christian High School in California two years ago. The 6-10 Chiu is now a freshman at Oberlin College in Ohio, and will probably become the world’s tallest basketball-playing doctor.

Japeth has already received offers from no less than two PBA teams, and feelers from the Philippine team. If he makes it to the NBA, he may start scouts beating a path to the Philippines.

erichubert
04-01-2008, 11:00 AM
Western Kentucky's head coach Darrin Horn is leaving to become South Carolina's new head coach. I hope that the development and improvement of Japeth won't be affected by this situation. Horn was the one who recruited Japeth so hopefully who ever replaces him would have the same faith in Japeth.

JonarSabilano
04-01-2008, 11:17 AM
Looks like WKU's looking at two candidates to replace Horn. One is an assistant at Texas while another is a current WKU assistant coach.

The_Big_Cat
04-01-2008, 11:28 AM
I like the current WKU assistant coach. At least he knows how Japeth Aguilar plays.

BLUE HORSE
04-01-2008, 11:40 AM
Darrin Horn did not want to wait for a better offer and took the first one that came his way while he is hot. I mentioned in the NCAA thread that Horn was picked as one of the hottest new young coaches available together with the coach of USD Grear. Horn would have been a nice fit at Indiana because of the proximity to Kentucky but no sane coach will touch Indiana. Thanks to coach Kelvin Sampson. That is the very reason why Tony Bennett of Washington State turned down the job. He did not want to be saddled with the problem inherited from the previous administration like Tommy Amaker faced in Michigan before he was let go by the administration for not winning enough games despite the sanctions on the school.

For continuity sake, I hope one of the current assistants get the job. If the job is not offered to him, he will probably follow Horn to South Carolina. Horn is definitely not leaving the cup board empty for the next coaching staff.

erichubert
04-01-2008, 02:42 PM
No sane coach would touch the Indiana job, that is why Isaiah Thomas is interested in it, he is as insane as it gets. I think after how many years of turmoil in New York, the Indiana job looks peanuts to him already. Hope he gets the job, the Knicks need a break from his stupid moves.

Horn can't get a better offer than the one he got with South Carolina. It is a good program, with a winning tradition, I think he will do a good job with this school.

Mateen Cleaves
04-02-2008, 07:28 AM
Indiana is still one of the premiere assignments in the country. It's similar to Kentucky in tradition and it is the premiere program in a state that is a hotbed of basketball recruiting. Think about this... Greg Oden and Mike Conley were both Indiana-bound. Makakabawi agad 'yan.

And it turns out that it might be a good thing that Tony Bennett turned them down. In my opinion they're getting a better coach in Tom Crean of Marquette. Not only that, Crean has been in the Midwest all along so the recruiting pipelines are already in place. He's also a perfect fit for Indiana because his integrity is unquestioned.

Baka sabihin na off-topic ako so I'll throw this in... Darrin Horn developed his craft as an assistant coach to Crean at Marquette before he landed the WKU job. :)

BLUE HORSE
04-02-2008, 02:19 PM
I agree with Mateen about Crean. He has quietly built a program in Marquette signing guys early before they blossomed to be stud players in high school. Indiana is Indiana but here is the rub. The team will probably return no starters next season, loose almost half of the team and several signees are asking to be relieved of their scholarship. Indiana tried to appease the NCAA by self imposing sanctions this past summer, denied a bonus to Sampson and giving up one scholarship spot. This may be enough because the school knew the problems of Sampson in Oklahoma and yet Indiana allowed Sampson to circumvent the restrictions. It all boils down to institutional control. Poor Tommy Amaker could not overcome the additional punishments of the NCAA, additional loss of scholarship and no tournament participation, at Michigan. Blue chip players stayed away from the Michigan program because they want the chance to showcase their ability during the NCAA tournament. Will Crean receive a lot of rope to resurrect the program?

john_paul_manahan
04-03-2008, 12:32 AM
he'll probably get the thad matta treatment.

south carolina is pretty much a tough gig. i don't like it. it will be tough. he should have waited. marquette is a much better opening that the gamecocks.

BLUE HORSE
04-03-2008, 03:21 AM
Marquette being a small Jesuit school may not have the funds rto pay a big time coach. They may sign an up and coming coach who wants the challenge of coaching in the Big East as his meal ticket to a higher paycheck. Rumored to be a natural candidate is acting Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylan. He was the starting pg when Marquette won the NCAA during the reign of Al Maguire.

South Carolina came out on the cheap. They only had to pay Horn 850 to coach the team. Indiana wanted a squeaky clean coach with a recruiting and winning record. They hit a home run by signing Tom Crean but will pay for the transgression of Sampson. Indiana gave Crean an 8 year contract with an average annual pay of 2 million per year. The 8 year mandate was needed to allow Crean to clean house and bring in his own players. Next season will be a honeymoon as he recruits his type of players for season 2009-2010. It is slim picking with the unsigned high school players. Crean should go hard for the unsigned blue chipper out of Philadelphia, Tyreke Evans. He is waiting to see if any of the phenom freshmen guards go hardship before making his decision. If Rose leaves Memphis then he might go there as a pit stop before heading to the NBA.

Mateen Cleaves
04-03-2008, 08:41 AM
I don't think it was a money issue at Marquette. Crean was getting close to 2 million already. It all boils down to the fact that Indiana is still among the top 5 brands in college basketball, and that he'll have a better shot at building a national contender there than in Marquette. BTW, I doubt that he goes after Tyreke Evans. Considering that he's there to clean the program up, he's not going near a recruit with questionable friends (i.e. Worldwide Wes).

As for Horn, obviously the money is great. But it's the same deal. He now has a chance to put his stamp on a major program. WKU was a nice time for him, but now he gets to play in the big time. SEC vs Sun Belt is no contest.

amdgc82
04-05-2008, 06:37 AM
Japeth Aguilar: Manlalarong Pinoy sa Western Kentucky University (http://www.abante-tonite.com/issue/apr0508/sports_achi.htm)
Achieve Anything by Ronnie Magsanoc
www.abante-tonite.com
*
Taong 2006, may isang payating atleta na pinakilala sa Unibersidad ng Ateneo na siyang magiging “cornerstone” ng programa ng basketbol sa darating na limang taon. Si Japeth Aguilar, anak ng dating manla*laro sa PBA na si Peter Aguilar ay tiningala sa unang sandali pa lamang niyang sumabak sa UAAP.

Sa taas na 6’7 at nagtataglay ng pambihirang bilis para sa kanyang sukat, mayroon din siyang biyayang taas ng talon kung kaya lahat ay namangha sa mga regalong kaloob sa kanya ng Maykapal.

Sa isang kurap, ang walang kamuwang-muwang na binatilyo ay nabingi sa mga tanong, papuri, pagpaalala, pagpuna, at kung anu-ano pa. Hindi madaling sitwasyon lalo na sa mga mahina ang dibdib, subalit sa kanyang murang edad, ay nilampasan ni Japeth ang mga unang pagsubok ng tadhana sa kanya, napatunayan n’ya na kaya niyang makapag-aral at makapaglaro sa prestihiyosong unibersidad tulad ng Ateneo.

Sabay dito, ang bagong bituin sa amateur basketbol ay nangibabaw at nagpakita ng galing sa UAAP, bagay na siyang naging dahilan kung bakit siya ay tinaguriang the “Next Most Important Big Man” sa buong Pilipinas.

Subalit sa isang kisapmata ay nagdesisyon si Japeth at ang kanyang mga magulang na humanap ng iskolarship sa Amerika. Naniwala sila na higit ang kakaya*han at espesyal ang mga pisikal na regalo kay Japeth na kaya niyang makipagtagisang-galing sa mga batikang manlalaro sa Division 1 ng NCAA sa U.S.

Isang sugal, sa wari ng iba, pero nung ‘di lumaon, ating nasaksihan si Japeth na may taglay ng kakaibang kumpiyansa dala na din marahil ng magandang paghubog ng kanyang katawan at mas mahalaga ay ang pag-angat ng buong pagkatao na kahit siya’y kayumangging Pilipino ay kaya n’yang makapasok, makapaglaro, at mapansin sa isang napakahirap marating na Division 1 sa US NCAA.

Naabot ni Japeth ang isa sa kanyang mga pangarap, pero naniniwala ako na sa tamang paggabay ng ama na si Peter at ng kanyang butihing ina, malayo pa ang kanyang mararating. “Sky is the limit” ika nga ng iba.

Bilib kami sa iyo Japeth; palaging dasal namin na sana ay pa*tuloy pang umangat ang iyong bituin sa US NCAA. Susundan namin ang bawat hakbang maski saan ka man magdesisyong magpunta. Mapa-Europa o ‘di kaya sa larong komersyal sa Amerika, kami ay magmamasid-masid with our “fingers crossed” na makasampa ang unang Pilipino sa NBA. Saludo kami sa iyo Japeth at patuloy na umaasa…

CM_Punk
04-07-2008, 12:16 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/basketball/ncaa/specials/ncaa_tourney/2008/04/06/wkentucky.mcdonald.ap/index.html

McDonald takes over at W. Kentucky

Posted: Sunday April 6, 2008 12:04PM; Updated: Sunday April 6, 2008 1:27PM

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- Texas assistant coach Ken McDonald will take over as head coach at Western Kentucky.

McDonald replaces Darrin Horn, who left last week to become the head coach at South Carolina.

Athletic director Wood Selig confirmed the hire. McDonald will be formally introduced at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

McDonald spent the last four years at Texas under Rick Barnes. He previously worked as an assistant at Western Kentucky under Dennis Felton from 1998-2003, helping the Hilltoppers reach the NCAA tournament during his final three seasons with the program.

The Hilltoppers went 29-7 this season, winning the Sun Belt Conference tournament and advancing to the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years before falling to UCLA.

The_Big_Cat
04-07-2008, 01:09 PM
I hope he gives Japeth Aguilar more playing minutes.

full battle gear
07-12-2008, 08:17 AM
Japeth’s future
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
Saturday, July 12, 2008
www.philstar.com


Japeth Aguilar was supposed to play for the Philippine team in the 30th William Jones Cup, which opened in Taipei Thursday. But since the organizers made it next to impossible for the Philippines to join, the opportunity to see Aguilar’s development up close will have to wait.

Nevertheless, the forward Ateneo Blue Eagle is looking forward to a much better NCAA season after being injured and benched last season.

The 6-10 forward-center was playing hard and had earned a spot as the sixth man of the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers before hurting his right ankle late last year. By the time he had come back to full strength, he was no longer part of the rotation.

But this year, WKU hired a new coach, Ken McDonald, who had been an assistant to Ricka Barnes at the successful program at Texas. McDonald helped mentor the Longhorns to a 106-35 record during that span, the most victories in a four-year period in school history. UT advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. McDonald has been giving Japeth more playing time, and more responsibility.

“I had what I perceive to be an incredible job at Texas, so it was going to take a truly special situation for me to consider leaving,” McDonald said. “I’ve been on different benches the last 14 years waiting for an opportunity like this. I truly believe this is a job with no ceiling.”

Last March, Aguilar watched from the bench as his team made the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. The game-winning shot of his teammate Ty Rogers in the first round was even nominated for an ESPY award, since it was the Toppers’ first win over Drake since 1995.

Aguilar’s teammate, 6-5 do-it-all guard Courtney Lee, was picked in the first round by the Orlando Magic, the first WKU player chosen in the first round since 1987.

“I’m doing really great. We have a new coaching staff and my relationship with them is different,” Aguilar told The STAR in an e mail. “It’s much better than the previous coaches. The new coaches are cool. Our head coach coached Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldrich – they’re both in the NBA. They are expecting more of me, let’s say they expect me to be one of the leaders in the team.”

Durant was the 2007 consensus National College Player of the Year, and became NBA Rookie of the Year after being picked second overall by the Seattle Supersonics. Aldridge made the NBA All-Rookie First team in 2007, and averaged 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.

At first, Japeth felt lonely in the spread out plains of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Unlike big cities which were melting pots for foreigners, Bowling Green only had one Filipino family who regularly watched WKU games and befriended Aguilar, whose parents lived in Illinois, a seven-hour drive away. Then Japeth met Jessica Magley, the pretty and smart 6-1 power forward of the Lady Hilltoppers, and they hit it off. In fact, when this writer interviewed the pair in Bowling Green in October, Jessica was learning to speak kapampangan to help Japeth feel more at ease. Jessica’s brother DJ, is a 6-9 forward on the men’s team, and once shattered a backboard in high school. Her father, David, was a 6-8 second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1978, but played for the Kansas City Jayhawks. In 1982, the elder Magley averaged a career-high 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds at forward.

Aguilar, who grew three inches and put on 20 pounds of muscle since leaving the country a little over three years ago, was excited about the chance to suit up for flag and country.

“I was supposed to play for the RP team at the Jones Cup, but the RP team withdrew.” Aguilar continued. “Then they told me that they’ll be joining another league, Brunei Cup, but it starts in August and that’s too late for me because I need to get back to WKU for practice.”

Nevertheless, Aguilar was asked by WKU to stay until 2010, when he will have fully matured. Given all the changes in the pre-season, he’s trying not to get his hopes up too much, chastened by what happened last year.

“I’ve been working really hard and hopefully everything goes well,” said Aguilar, whose father, former Ginebra center Peter, is a factory worker in Chicago. “I’m trying not to be so excited because you might never know what’s going to happen. Like last year, I got injured, you know.”

The Star has confirmed that some NBA teams, such as the Seattle Supersonics (who are now moving to Oklahoma) and the Los Angeles Lakers have been keeping tabs on Japeth. Given the large number of Asians and particularly Filipinos in US, having a Filipino player, even deep on the bench, would help sell tickets.

With a new chance to prove himself, Japeth is hoping to eventually become more than just a token minority.

Joescoundrel
09-15-2008, 11:00 AM
So when is he coming back to the country?

BLUE HORSE
09-15-2008, 06:24 PM
Joe, Japeth is back in Western Kentucky. Had a short chat over the phone when he went home for a short visit. Blue Ram extended an invite to meet some of the Windy City alumni and Jun D. who was in town for the North America reunion of the AAA.

D_I_A
01-13-2009, 02:23 AM
Japeth’s slam dunk highlights Western Kentucky game
as of 01/12/2009 9:59 PM
By RONNIE NATHANIELSZ | 01/12/2009 5:41 PM


For a moment it looked like PBA MVP Kelly Williams or rookie sensation Gabe Norwood as they often bring fans to their feet with follow-up slam dunks.

But it was not.

Instead it was Western Kentucky University’s 6’9” center Japeth Aguilar slamming it home in a 78-57 rout of Florida Atlantic on Sunday, Manila Time.

Former PBA superstar and “King of the Boards” Abe King excitedly emailed www.insidesports.ph giving details of the gangling Aguilar’s slam dunk which was seen on the widely popular YouTube.

The video showed Japeth in the “Hilltoppers” red cutting right down the middle to slam a missed shot into the basket with perfect timing.

Aguilar played for only five minutes as his coach is slowly nursing him back to full strength from a metatarsal injury on his right foot.

But in his short stint Japeth, son of former PBA player Peter Aguilar, scored on the dunk and made one-of-two free throws and pulled down four rebounds, two offensive and two defensive.

Aguilar and his father have committed to try out for the PBA-supported Philippine Team coached by Yeng Guiao and have disclosed that Japeth, a former Ateneo center in the UAAP, would be home in May to try for a spot in the national team. The squad under Guiao is set to compete in the SEABA Games as well as the FIBA Asian qualifier for the World Basketball Championships.

King who is chairman of the PBA Legends USA Foundation said he watches all Japeth’s games on pay TV but said that “although Japeth is very promising, he lacks exposure.”

JonarSabilano
01-13-2009, 10:55 AM
Anyone got a link to the video?

The_Big_Cat
01-13-2009, 11:47 AM
Anyone got a link to the video?


Japeth Aguilar's putback slam!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj79nBUf8y4

Kid Cubao
01-13-2009, 12:12 PM
with all due respect, if there's any hilltopper on the way to the top, it's got to be japeth's former teammate courtney lee, who's now with the orlando magic. all-NBA rookie numbers in his last five games.

john_paul_manahan
01-18-2009, 08:42 PM
i can agree with the kid's statement. long way to go, but the path is there.

D_I_A
01-27-2009, 12:34 AM
Mga pangalang dapat abangan --Chiu at Aguilar
TJ Manotoc
Abante



Sa nakalipas na dalawang taon, masasabi kong kahit papano naagawan ng pandagdag na sigla ang ating college basketball scene sa bansa. Hindi dahil sa mga problemang dinadadanas ng mga teams at mga players, lalo sa mga intrigang lumilibot na `di maalis-alis. Kundi dahil may iilang player na kahit papano ay dapat dito naglalaro at namamayagpag, ngunit pinili nilang sumubok at sumikap sa college basketball sa Amerika.


Pero `di lahat ng gustong makipagsapalaran dun ay nabibiyayaan ng ganung sitwasyon. Bibihira ang maging isang Pinoy homegrown na player na hihigit pa sa 6’8 na taas! Kaya naman sina Japeth Aguilar at Gian Chiu ay piniling sumugal ika sa ibang bansa para lalong mahasa ang kanilang husay at sabi ng iba, ang kanilang true potential.


Ang unang naging balita kahit papano sa pag-alis nya ng bansa ay si Japeth. Pagkatapos lang ng isang magandang taon bilang rookie sa Ateneo Blue Eagles sa UAAP, pinili ng pamilya ni Japeth na subukan ang potensyal nya sa Amerika sa Division 1 ng NCAA. Sa mga di masyadong nakakasubaybay, ang Division 1 ng NCAA ang syang pinakamataas na lebel ng college basketball sa buong mundo. At doon nanggagaling ang halos lahat ng mga NBA players maliban na lang sa mga direct foreign recruits tulad nina Dirk Nowitski at Pau Gasol. Pero sa kasaysayan ng NCAA, marami na ring mga Pinoy o Fil-Am na sumabak na at naging matagumpay sa kanilang mga NCAA Division 1 careers. Nandyan sina Andy at Dannny Seigle, si Kelly Williams, at maging si Gabe Norwood.

Pero ngayon palang nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na may isang full blooded Pinoy (na walang dugong kano) na born and raised sa Pinas na makapasok sa Division 1, at yun na nga si Japeth.


Sa huling tatlong taon ay nagsusumikap si Japeth sa Western Kentucky University. Ang unang taon nya ay nag-serve muna sya ng residency. Sa simula naman ng pangalawang taon nya, sa simula palang ng season ay nagpasiklab na sya nang mapanalunan nya ang Slam Dunk Tournament sa PEP Rally ng WKU. Nakapaglaro si Japeth sa unang half ng season bago sya minalas na matamaan ng stress fracture injury sa paa nya. Na-sideline si Japeth sa pagtapos ng season pero ang team naman nya ay namayagpag, at nakapasok pa sa NCAA Tournament of top 64 teams sa Amerika. Umabot pa nga sila sa sweet 16 at natalo lamang ng UCLA. Ang lider ng team na yun ay si Courtney Lee na syang starting off guard ngayon sa Orlando Magic. Inasahan sa susunod at huling taon ni Japeth ay babawi na ito at mamayagpag na ng husto bilang senoir sa team.


Kaso nga lang natamaan na naman ng injury ng simula ng season at nitong 2nd half na lang nakakabawi. Dahil inu-unti-unti mula sa injury, 6 minutes per game pa lang ang nakikita ng 6’9 na sentro mula Pampanga. Pero nitong huling laro nila kontra Florida Atlantic na tambak na panalo, si Japeth pa ang nakatapos ng laro sa isang matinding slam dunk.


Sa kabilang dako, mas maaga sa kanyang career sumugal si Gian Chiua na pumunta ng Amerika. Nakita ng ilan si Gian na isang 6’7 na higanteng freshman na sentro sa Ateneo High School na nag-champion sa UAAP Juniors. Nang makapaglaro sa isang Nike All Stars tournament sa China, nakita si Gian ng dating Golden State Warriors scout na si Ron Michaels.

Dun palang inalok na nya ang bata na sumubok ng high School at college sa Amerika dahil dun lang nya matutupad ang tunay na potensyal nya sa laki nya. Lumipas ang mga taon, nagtapos nga ng high school sa Desert Christian High sa Palm Springs, California si Gian at pumasok sa Oberlin College na may Division 3 na team sa NCAA. Napakamot ang iba bakit Division 3 lang ang sinabak ng higanteng bata na ngayon ay 6’10 na. Pero paliwanag ni Gian na gusto kasi nya magduktor, at ang Oberlin ay isa na sa pinakamahusay na Pre-Med na college sa buong Amerika.


Nung rookie year nya last year, nakapaglaro si Gian ng 25 games, na may halos 20 minutes playing time. Gumagawa sya nun ng halos 6 points per game at may 2.3 rebounds na may .5 blocks per game pati. Nitong taon, sa kanyang 2nd year sa team, na-injure si Gian sa isang bibihirang injury sa kanyang tuhod, growth pains. Sabi ng kanyang duktor, dahil sa bilis ng paglaki ni Gian na aabot na daw sa 6’11 ngayon, masyadong mabilis nababatak mga buto nya kaya’t masasakit ang mga joints nya. Sa loob ng 16 games na ng Oblerin, 2 game palang nalalaro ni Gian at unti-unting nagpapa-kundisyon. Ang tanong nalang sa career ni Gian sa susunod na dalawang taon, PBA ba o pagdudoktor sa Amerika ang pipiliin nya? Ayon sa kanyang ina na si Mary Ann, nasa kay Gian yan at malamang depende sa offers. Kung mas maganda ang offer ng John Hopkines Medical School na may scholarship pa, maaring talikuran ng 6’11 na Gian ang kanyang potensyal maging PBA player.


Para kay Japeth naman, maliwanag na gusting-gusto nyang bumalik ng Pinas pag-graduate nya at sasabak sya sa RP team at sa PBA.


Sa susunod na mga taon, sa pag-abang natin ng pag-angat ng mga UAAP at NCAA stars at maging sa mga galing sa Visayas at Mindanao, wag kakalimutan ang mga pangalangang Aguilar at Chiu dahil maaring ito na ang mga susunod na dominanteng bigmen ng bansa.