MANILA, Philippines—Chances of an NBA breakthrough for 6-foot-9 Japeth Aguilar now look dim.
Aguilar, who tried his luck in a two-day, six-hour workout with New Orleans in Los Angeles last week, didn’t make the Hornets’ initial list tapped to go through a month-long camp along with established NBA players.
The 2012-2013 NBA season opens shop on Oct. 30 and there’s little hope that the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper and Ateneo Blue Eagle may be inserted in the Hornets’ 14-man roster that will play in eight pre-season games.
The Hornets are scheduled to meet the Orlando Magic on Oct. 7 in Mexico City, sandwiched by a pair of home games against the Houston Rockets (Oct. 4) and Charlotte Bobcats (Oct. 9).
Don Sellers, the Hornets’ advance scout, said Aguilar was a work in progress after seeing him in the private workout but pointed out that the game of the high-leaping forward of Talk ‘N Text should be more “westernized,’’ meaning he should come out with more fire and hustle on the floor.
The Hornets left Aguilar out of the training camp lineup after enlisting Darius Miller, Brian Roberts and Lance Thomas.
According to Hoopshype.com, Miller, a 6-foot-8 forward and a reliever of Hornets’ top draft pick Anthony Davis in Kentucky, is a strong choice at Aguilar’s position.
The 6-8 Thomas came from Duke University and played for the USA Select Team during the summer while Roberts is a 6-1 guard from three-time champion Bamberg in the German League.
Sellers noted Aguilar’s agility and athleticism in last week’s workout, but said he “isn’t ready for the big show yet.”
Aguilar, the PBA’s top draft pick in 2009, also had workouts with the San Antonio Spurs and NBA Developmental League team Bakersfield Jam, an affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles and Phoenix Suns.