Santa Cruz waives Aguilar, offers ‘practice’ deal

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10:41 PM November 22nd, 2012

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By: June Navarro, November 22nd, 2012 10:41 PM

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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