Japeth Aguilar had a break-out game in the Philippines’ come from behind win against Qatar during the fourth window matchup of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The lanky forward had one of his best outings representing the country in the international stage, notching 16 points and nine rebounds, while shooting an efficient 87.5 percent from the field.
In light of his strong performance, a humble Aguilar deflected the credit to his teammates and appreciates the trust given to him by Philippine head coach Joseller ‘Yeng’ Guiao.
“I was just given a chance earlier,” Aguilar said in Filipino. “And it took a total team effort. Everybody was helping each other. We didn’t have a guy who tried to do it all.”
Despite their 2-5 record coming into the game, Qatar pushed the Filipinos to the brink after they started out the game with tremendous shooting from beyond the arc, leading by as much as 17 points in the first half.
“That Qatar team is no easy picking,” Aguilar continued in Filipino. “Starting the second half, we pressured them until we slowly took back the lead, and sustained it until the end of the game.”
With the victory, the Philippines improved to 5-3, holding on to the third spot in Group F behind Australia and Iran, and just ahead of Japan at 4-4. The top three countries from each group will qualify for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The Philippine team take on their next assignment on November 30 when they open the fifth window of the Asian Qualifiers against Kazakhstan in Manila, Philippines.
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