Gilas forward Japeth Aguilar vies with Argentina's forward Leo Gutierrez and Argentina's forward Andres Nocioni. Photo by Cristina Quicler, Agence France-Presse
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra assistant coach Olsen Racela on Thursday expressed his pride and happiness at how LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar have been performing for the Gilas Pilipinas national team at the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Tenorio has played in all four of Gilas' games in the World Cup so far, while Aguilar has seen action in three games.
"They have specific roles to play doon sa Gilas. Kung sa amin, star sila dito sa Ginebra, doon may kanya-kanyang roles sila," Racela told ABS-CBNnews.com during a press conference for an upcoming tune-up game between the Gin Kings and Korean team LG Sakers.
"Maganda 'yung nilalaro nila so far," Racela observed. "Especially si LA, doon sa laro kagabi sa Puerto Rico. Sayang lang at hindi pinalad kagabi."
The Philippines lost a heartbreaker to Puerto Rico Wednesday, 74-77, but Tenorio gave a good account of himself as he scored 18 points, making two of his three-point attempts.
"Si Japeth naman, every time he plays, binibigay niya 'yung lahat niya," said Racela of Aguilar, who averages a little under than six minutes per game for Gilas.
"So we're very proud of those two players, and we're very happy with the way that they're playing."
At the same time, Racela admitted that the lack of rest for Aguilar and Tenorio was a cause of concern for the team as they start preparing for the upcoming PBA season.
"Habang nakaka-pahinga 'yung ibang players during the off-season, sila tuloy-tuloy," he said. "As a player, kailangan mo kahit papaano na makapag-pahinga."
Racela assured Ginebra fans that there is a plan in place to help slowly integrate Aguilar and Tenorio back in the team when they return.
"Coach Jeff (Cariaso) has a plan for that," he said. "Bibigyan niya din ng oras para magpahinga."