Japeth Aguilar, the controversial SMART-Gilas Pilipinas forward who became the subject of a tug-of-war between the national squad and his PBA team Air 21 after being drafted first overall in 2009, will be back in the PBA for the league’s 37th season.
The 6-foot-9 forward will strut his stuff for the Talk ‘N Text, which traded for his rights two years ago to allow him to join the national team.
Aguilar’s inclusion in the Tropang Texters for the season-opening Philippine Cup was confirmed by team manager Aboy Castro.
“After the [2011 FIBA-Asia Championship, Japeth will join us,” he said.
Aguilar was part of the Talk ‘N Text contingent during the 2011 PBA Rookie Draft on August 28.
The son of former PBA player Peter Aguilar made waves after joining the draft in 2009, when he was promptly selected No. 1 by the Burger King Wwhoppers. But Aguilar had a change of heart about joining the pro league, opting instead to join SMART-Gilas, leading to controversy. The dispute was resolved after Burger King and Talk ‘N Text agreed on a trade that would allow Aguilar to play for SMART-Gilas.
‘The Blur’ staying
Next on the offseason list for Talk ‘N Text is the contract status of promising guard Jason Castro, who has yet to sign a new deal with the Tropang Texters.
Danny Espiritu, Castro’s agent, confirmed that the player still doesn’t have a new pact with Talk ‘N Text.
But Tropang Texters coach Chot Reyes had a ready answer when asked about Castro’s status with the team.
“He’s not going anywhere,” said the fashion-forward coach.
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