Santa Cruz waives Aguilar, offers ‘practice’ deal


Japeth Aguilar will have his dreams of making it to the NBA put on hold. Photo from Sta. Cruz basketball website

Japeth Aguilar’s NBA dream all but vanished Wednesday.

The 6-foot-9 Aguilar, who made history as the first Filipino to be picked in the NBA D-League draft, was placed on waivers by the Santa Cruz Warriors when the team’s two-week tryouts for drafted rookies ended.

The only chance left for the former Smart Gilas mainstay now is for other  D-League teams to pick him up from among the list of players waived to complete their respective rosters any time.

Meanwhile, Aguilar has to decide whether to accept a standing offer as practice player for the Warriors or book a flight back to Manila where another offer from Talk ‘N Text is waiting for the 2009 PBA top overall pick.

Marvin Espiritu, Aguilar’s agent, said in a report that the former Ateneo Blue Eagle and Western Kentucky Hilltopper would discuss the Santa Cruz offer with his family in the next few days.

Selected by Santa Cruz, an affiliate of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, in the seventh round (109th overall), Aguilar wasn’t included in the 10-man lineup following a short stint in two preseason victories for the Warriors over the Tulsa 66ers and Texas Legends.

Aguilar, gifted with a 36-inch vertical leap and seven-foot wingspan, drilled a jumper and had a couple of blocks against the 66ers.

Scoreless the following game, Aguilar plucked down three rebounds and had an assist without turnovers in 11 minutes during the Warriors’ triple overtime 129-126 win over the Legends.

The Warriors will open the 2012-2013 season against the Reno Bighorns on Nov. 30.

Prior to the Warriors’ workouts, Aguilar tried his luck to no avail with the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets.

The D-League is the NBA’s minor farm league where NBA teams tap some of their talents. Last year, 60 D-League ballers were called up to the NBA.

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  • ricky

    Be the No. 1 Filipino player first… then try NBA.

  • jpmd88

    I guess the writing on the wall is pretty clear.  Either you have it or don’t. Or simply keep on trying and improving your game.

  • macau connection

    Japeth should come back and play in the PBA and maybe, just maybe, at age 40 he will be mature enough to play in the NBA……lol!!!!!!

  • koy-bili

    Keep himself as a practice player for sometime and hope to improve on it…

  • Constantine

    I have never doubted that Aguilar will not make the final cut. Come on guys, he is not even one of the best five players of TNT in the PBA. How can he play in the NBA or even at the NBA D-league? Aguilar’s main problem is not on athleticism but on mental prowess. He thinks very slow that in crucial instances he cannot come up with wise moves. Coach Reyes won’t even let him play in the crucial stages of their championship games against the team coached by Tim Cone last year. Aguilar should instead come back to the PBA and concentrate on further improving his decision makings. 

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