Tim Cone is confident that Japeth Aguilar will be ready to play for Brgy. Ginebra by Game 4 of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-seven championship series featuring the defending champions and Meralco.
Although the 64-year old American mentor hinted that the high-leaping forward might even make his return as early as Game 3 if his injured calf holds out.
“We are looking at Sunday. But I’m confident he might be able to make an appearance on Wednesday,” said Cone shortly after Gin Kings evened up the series at 1-game apiece following their 99-93 victory over the Bolts in Game 2.
“Maybe Sunday, but if there’s any likelihood, it will be Wednesday. He needs a few more days, it seems to me,” he added.
Aguilar, who sustained the injury during the semifinals series opener against NLEX last March 23, showed up in uniform during Game 2 but wasn’t fielded in as Cone knew beforehand that he would not be able to play yet.
“Japeth came into the game, and his intention was to suit and warm up and he did a little bit of a soft warm-up. We knew before the warm-ups that he wasn’t going to play,” explained Cone.
“He will come to the game, stretch him out, test him out a few things and then if he passes that test, and he will go warm-up. If he feels good at warm-ups, then we will look and see if we can hit him on the court at least for a few minutes,” added the league’s winningest mentor.