Tim Cone takes blame as Japeth Aguilar reinjures calf during Game 4

Japeth Aguilar’s return to action in the playoffs of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup didn’t turn out to be as planned.

The 33-year old Aguilar, who hasn’t seen action since Game 1 of the semifinal round, apparently reinjured his calf during his 10-minute stint in Game 4 of the best-of-seven championship series between Brgy. Ginebra and Meralco.

The incident served as a dampener to an otherwise victorious day as the Gin Kings won the game, 95-84, and celebrated the awarding of Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson as Best Import and Best Player of the season-ending conference, respectively.

“Japeth had to leave the game. I didn’t take him out. He had to leave the game because he was starting to feel the calf injury,” said Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone shortly after the crowd darlings equalized the Finals series at 2-games apiece.

“Once he went out, the trainers told me that he was out for the game. I don’t know how bad it was. That’s always, always the risk with a calf injury, that you reinjure it. We were trying to be really careful,” he added.

With Aguilar’s playing status once again a game-time decision, Cone took responsibility for the unfortunate episode.

“We were trying to be really careful. I was trying not to overplay him. I only played him like three or four minutes in the first half. I saw him getting tired in the second half but we were making a run and I didn’t have the discipline to take him. I should have had more discipline to take him out,” explained Cone.

“If he has that injury again, that’s on me. That’s not on him,” added the 23-time PBA champion mentor.

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