PBA: Cone expects Standhardinger, Aguilar to mesh well for Ginebra

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2021 04:16 PM

PBA: Cone expects Standhardinger, Aguilar to mesh well for Ginebra 1

MANILA, Philippines -- The frontcourt tandem of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter never quite reached the heights expected of them in Barangay Ginebra, even though they helped the Gin Kings win four PBA championships.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone admits that their twin towers "had a difficult time playing together consistently," and often he fielded either Aguilar or Slaughter while sitting the other. 

"There were stretches where they ended up just substituting for each other, and that was difficult for both players, really difficult for both players," he added. "When Greg wasn't around for the bubble, you saw Japeth kind of spread his wings and really kind of take off, because he had the position all to himself."

It's Slaughter who now has a chance to spread his wings after he was traded to NorthPort in early March, while Aguilar will have a new frontcourt partner in Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger.

Cone is confident that Aguilar and Standhardinger will mesh well for the Gin Kings, as he believes their games complement each other.

"I think he'll fit probably with Japeth maybe a little bit better," said Cone. "I think they'll be able to play a lot of minutes together, and not give each other breaks once in a while."

"Generally, they'll be able to play together. And it's gonna be fun to explore the relationship between the two of them," he added.

The coach, who led Ginebra to the PBA Philippine Cup crown last year, said Standhardinger and Aguilar are "polar opposites." Aguilar, who has played for Ginebra since 2013, is one of the premier high-fliers in the league, while Standhardinger is more of a "grounded" player, according to Cone. 

Both of them produced at a high level in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup. Standhardinger averaged 19.9 points and 12.0 rebounds for NorthPort, while Aguilar tallied 15.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game for the Gin Kings.

"I'm pretty good with grounded players," said Cone. "My all-time favorite player is Bong Hawkins, and no one's more grounded than Bong Hawkins. So I'm looking forward to working with Christian." 

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