MANILA, Philippines -- Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone reminded Japeth Aguilar of his responsibilities as a role model and a leader after the veteran forward was sanctioned for violating quarantine rules.
Aguilar and Rain or Shine rookie Adrian Wong were among the players caught violating the rules of the general community quarantine in early July, when they were seen playing a game of 5-on-5 in a practice facility in San Juan.
After the video of their scrimmage went viral on social media, they were summoned to the PBA Commissioner's Office. The pair was fined P20,000 each and given 30 hours of community service.
Cone said he and Aguilar have talked about the incident, and the player admitted that he "made a bad decision."
While Aguilar was apologetic, Cone still made it clear to the forward that he has special responsibilities as a member of the PBA's most popular team.
"One of the things that we try to impress upon the players and Japeth, of course, is the fact that we are Ginebra," Cone said during an appearance on "The Chasedown."
"And, the fact that because we are Ginebra, we are the high-profile team, so it's on us as a group to set a standard -- to be the models on how you should be doing things," he added.
Aguilar's actions generated headlines, and he drew even more scrutiny when it was reported that he went to La Union in June for a surfing trip.
"It's really on us to not only be the good boys, but also be the leaders," Cone reminded Aguilar.
"So we had a talk about that after what happened with Japeth and I think our guys have stepped up the discipline, and I think they're doing a lot better," he said.
Cone did not give Aguilar a further sanction, maintaining that he was "not a punishment-like coach." Nonetheless, he made it clear to the All-Star forward -- and to all of their players -- that they have to be better.
"The fact that we are Ginebra, I think that's so crucial that we understand. And you know, if a player from another team did that, it might be a small mention, but if a player from our team does that, that's the situation we're in," he pointed out.
"That's what gives us the pride of being Ginebra, and we have to live up to that pride, we have to live up to that standard. We set a high standard, and the people around us and the fans also set a high standard for us. So I think we have to live up to that standard," he stressed.
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