By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 26, 2013
MONTEREY PARK, Calif–With Lebron James’ recent trip to Philippines, Filipino hoopsters who’ve trained with Japeth Aguilar are happy to see him beat King James.
Aguilar and the Gilas National team played against James and hit the winning shot giving them a win 29 to 27 point win over team Lebron in the 10 minute exhibition earlier this week.
Caltech Coach Leo Balayon, who helped train Aguilar in the US last year is currently coaching in the And One Summer Pro League in Los Angeles.
“I watched it because of Lebron. I didn’t know he was in it and then I saw him make the game winning dunk and I’m proud of him,” said the Caltech University assistant coach.
One Fil-Am, however, is disappointed. Gilas National team member Fil-Am Matt Ganuelas Rosser missed the Lebron exhibition game to be in the US for the birth of his daughter.
He is also playing for Balayon’s summer league team to gain extra experience for the upcoming FIBA Asia Qualifier, as well as the PBA developmental league season.
“I saw everything on instagram, twitter, YouTube. But I came here to see the birth of my daughter. I’d rather be here. I’ve got basketball til I’m 50,” said the Olangopo born Rosser
While it’s been nearly a year since Aguilar, now 25, attempted to jump into the NBA, his American coach believes it’s not likely that he’ll give it another shot after signing a multi-year contract to continue playing in the Philippines unless some kind of business deal can happen.
“If you’re a good owner in the PBA and there’s an opportunity for him to be in the NBA I would just work out a deal where he can play here while he’ll always endorse the company he played for in the PBA,” explained Balayon.
While Balayon will continue watching some of his players excel in the Philippines, he has no plans of going there anytime soon as his 2 year old baby and his multiple basketball commitments will keep him in Southern California.