Sunday, August 30, 2009
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STATEMENT OF JAPETH AGUILAR
When I returned home after graduating from Western Kentucky University it was mainly because I wanted the chance to play for the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Championships and feel the pride that comes from playing for my country.
Unfortunately it didn’t go too well. But having seen first hand what it was like, how the teams from the Middle-East played and the system they followed, I felt the challenge to try again and to take them on, confident that we could surely do better the next time with hard work, dedication and the willingness to sacrifice and learn.
I am prepared to do just that. My father Peter who also played for the Northern Consolidated national team wants me to do that and so do the other members of our family.
The only way I can achieve this goal is by playing for the Smart Gilas development team under coach Rajko Toroman provided of course that they accept me since I had initially decided to enter the PBA Annual Draft.
I am confident that they will.
The experience of Tinajin, China, opened my eyes and told me that if I truly want to help my country in international basketball I will have to sacrifice a career in the pro league with all the glamour and all the perks, and join the national pool for the present time.
I will always be grateful to coach Yeng Guiao for the opportunity he gave me to play for the Philippines, Powerade Team Filipinas manager JB Baylon and PBA Commissioner Sonny Barrios for their kindness, understanding and support.
I wish to extend my deep sense of gratitude to coach Yeng, Burger King team owner Mr. Bert Lina and team manager and PBA chairman Lito Alvarez for their confidence in my ability by making me their No.1 draft pick.
I trust they will understand that my desire to play for my country means more to me and my family than anything else.
I have made the choice with my family’s blessings and encouragement.
I hope and pray that my countrymen will support me in the effort to help strengthen the Philippine Team in its continuing quest for respect and redemption in international basketball.
SGD. Japeth Aguilar
This will only make Japeth more loved by basketball-crazy fans. I wasn't a fan of him before but because of this willingness to show sacrifice and priority of country over money and fame, he has earned everyone's respects. I hope other basketball players learn from this. There is more than what PBA can offer, it is the opportunity to sacrifice to play for the country.
Mabuhay ka Japeth.
This post was written by: Jerick Baluyot
Jerick Baluyot is a professional blogger, writer and digital marketing specialist. Follow him on Twitter