Heated Exchange of Japeth Aguilar and Gabby Espinas is just normal in a high stake game
The players have spoken but the alleged instigator of the situation has kept mum until now.
The Final score last night was 104 -84 in favor of Ginebra. They will now advance to the 2017 PBA Governors Cup Semi-finals against the winner of Rain or Shine vs Talk n Text.
The final score was a surprise as a great team like SMB was expected to put up a better fight but instead fell down hard against an outstanding Ginebra team that played a perfect against Grand Slam-chasing SMB. The storyline was as dramatic as the game, players from both sides played hard and emotions were high. Which leads to a heated incident that happened in the dying minutes of the third quarter.
Gabby Espinas was called into action early in the 3rd quarter as the Beermen tries to find the right mix of players to counter a resilient attack of Ginebra. Espinas is known for his hard nose physicality and has been a reliable off the bench contributor for SMB on defense and in some cases also in offense.
The game between sister companies peaked to a boiling point after Gabby Espinas committed a hard foul against Justin Brownlee that sent hard-working import reeling to the ground. This is when the father of Japeth Aguilar reacted verbally that was overheard by Gabby Espinas, who verbally responded back.
In a recent interview, Gabby Espinas Espinas told reporters that he thought, Peter Aguilar the father of Ginebra star power forward was cursing him and that is what prompted him to fire back. He also noted that it was a high stake game and it is normal that the level of defense is much more intense. He added that Peter should understand the situation as he was a former player and could have easily identified if I was doing it deliberately or not.
Japeth Aguilar, who was close to the action as it happened saw the exchange between his father and Gabby and his immediate reaction was to come to the rescue and defend his dad.
Japeth in a post-game interview said that it was a spur of the moment and a natural reaction. It's a family thing and it is normal for two highly competitive and hard-working players. He added that he got nothing against Gabby Espinas.
The incident cost both players a technical foul and even coach Tim Cone got one for entering the basketball court. The referee was able to control the incident right away and put order to the game.
Today, Peter wants to clear the smoke as he posts a message about the incident on social media.
Peter Aguilar to his defense posted on social media that he never really cursed at Gabby Espinas and what he said was (Nananakit na lang yan), he is just hurting players.
Regardless however of what have been said and done. The rivalry between players should be over at least right now. The sister company should reunite and support each other.
Just to add, Gabby Espinas mentioned that he does not want to talk anymore as he also have kids and understand how Peter Aguilar felt at the time. He also wishes the Ginebra team well and hopes that they win the Governors Cup championship this year.
We want to congratulate both players for acting like a professionals and putting this little incident behind them.