SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga (4-Nov-2012/PNA) – A Kapampangan professional basketball player was recently drafted by the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA Developmental (D) League.
Japeth Paul Cabrera Aguilar, 25, a native of Sasmuan town, was the first ever Filipino to be included in such league after he was picked in the seventh round by the Santa Cruz Warriors, the D-League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.
Aguilar also played for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) in 2004.
He consequently moved to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers in the Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) in the United States.
He entered the NCAA as a junior (third year) in 2007.
Aguilar returned to the Philippines and played with the Powerade Team Pilipinas that participated in the 2009 Fiba Asia Championship for Men held in Tianjin, China.
He was a former first round draft pick in the PBA and played with Talk-n-Text, and Smart Gilas
In 2009, the Burger King Whoppers got him as its overall No.1 draft pick in the 2009 PBA Draft.
However after the draft, he declared that he would be joining the Smart Gilas Pilipinas developmental basketball program, coached by Serbian Rajko Toroman. He was even banned from league for refusing to sign a contract with the Whoppers.
An amicable settlement, Aguilar signed the one-year contract with the Whoppers, which included him playing for a few games with them then he would be traded to Talk-n- Text, which would then release him to Smart Gilas as he wanted.
Aguilar played his only professional game with the Whoppers against the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants in the PBA season opener. (PNA)