PBA: Tim Cone takes blame as Japeth Aguilar reinjures calf in Game 4 win
MANILA, Philippines — Japeth Aguilar reinjured his calf in Ginebra’s 95-84 victory over Meralco in Finals Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Holy Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone said in the post-game interview that the 35-year-old big man aggravated his injury after playing for 10 minutes and 37 seconds and went scoreless, missing three shots and grabbing one rebound in the series-tying win.
He was subbed out mid fourth quarter.
“Japeth had to leave the game. I didn’t take him out because he started to feel the calf injury. I don’t know how badly he was reinjured but once he went out the trainers told me he’s out of the game,” Cone bared. “I don’t know how bad it was but that’s always the risk of calf injury.”
It was the reigning Finals MVP’s return since Game 1 of their semifinals series against NLEX, where he suffered the calf injury.
Cone took the responsibility after Aguilar hurt his calf anew.
“We’re really trying to be careful trying not to overplay him I only played him three or four minutes in the first half. I saw him getting tired in the second half but we were making a run, I didn’t have the discipline to take him out, I should have more discipline to take him out,” he said. “If he gets that injury again, that’s on me.”
Cone still has no idea of the severity of his forward’s injury but he said Aguilar will be a game time decision on Game 5 this Sunday.
He lauded Aguilar’s presence inside the court after it helped Ginebra equalize the series.
“He did come out and play when we really needed him. You could see the impact he had on the floor. The impact defensively, offensively. We really needed him to do what he did tonight. I hope that doesn’t sacrifice anything for him in the future,” he said on Aguilar, who was a plus 10 in Game 4.