MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar admits the Gin Kings did not play up to their standards in a disappointing 86-101 setback to the Alaska Aces on Sunday in the 2016-17 PBA All-Filipino Cup.
The Gin Kings trailed by 12 at the end of the first quarter and never recovered, eventually going down by as much as 30 points in the fourth quarter en route to their third loss of the conference.
"Right from the start, 'yung Alaska, mas aggressive, mas passionate," Aguilar said after the game, which saw him score 12 points but failed to grab a single rebound, while also being on the receiving end of a highlight-reel block by Calvin Abueva.
"We were letting them dictate the game," he said. "Instead na mag-engage kami sa intensity nila, we're still trying to figure out kung paano kami mage-execute."
"Kailangan may mixture talaga eh – may halong intensity, tapos nakipag-engage na rin kami right from the start," he added.
What made the loss more disappointing is that the Gin Kings were coming off an encouraging victory over the Mahindra Floodbuster, which saw them take charge in the second half to break open a tight game.
However, Aguilar noted that even in their win against Mahindra, they were not playing at a high level.
"'Yung Mahindra, parang disguise lang 'yun sa masamang laro namin," he said. "Nag-i-struggle pa rin kami. We were winning, but we haven't really had a good game."
Ginebra coach Tim Cone declined to speak to the media after the contest, but Aguilar revealed that the multi-titled mentor was obviously disappointed with their effort.
"We didn't come out to play today," said Aguilar of Cone's message. "Sabi niya, look at Alaska's bench, they have more intensity than you guys. I look at you guys, and you look like parang ayaw namin daw mag-laro."
The Gin Kings have yet to put together a winning streak in the conference, having alternated losses and wins so far on their way to a 2-3 record.
A victory over Alaska would have given them momentum heading into their blockbuster Christmas Day showdown against the Star Hotshots, but instead Ginebra will only have a faltering rhythm.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.