Japeth survives initial cuts, sees action in pre-season game

For Japeth Aguilar, it’s all about surviving the cut.

Drafted at 13th in the seventh round in the NBA D-League draft, the 6-foot-10, 265-pound Aguilar finally saw action for the Santa Cruz Warriors Sunday (Monday in Manila) during the team’s 129-126 triple-overtime victory against the Texas Legends in a pre-season game at the Choctaw Resort in Durant, Oklahoma.

Aguilar, 25, came off the bench and went scoreless, but the athletic center hauled down three rebounds and dished out an assist. He also committed three personal fouls and just attempted once in 11 minutes and 13 seconds of play.

His stats pale in comparison with former pro Chris Douglas-Roberts, the second overall pick in the 2012 D-League Draft who led the Legends with a game-high 49 points on top of eight assists, seven rebounds, three steals and a block.
Leading the way for the Warriors–the affiliate of NBA’s Golden State team–was Dominique Jones who had 26 markers while Taylor Griffin (brother of Los Angeles Clippers star Blake) came up with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

It was the second win in the pre-season for Santa Cruz, which humbled Tulsa 66ers 95-79 last Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

[RELATED: Aguilar picked by Warriors in D-League draft]

With the newest D-League season set to unfold on Nov. 23, the Warriors have already waived Harouna Mutombo, Darren Moore, Arron Mollet, Steve Tchiengang and TJ Robinson, leaving them with only 12 hopefuls, including Aguilar.

However, although a D-League team roster only requires 12 players, two slots will be filled by its mother NBA team. Thus, Santa Cruz is expected to cut another two D-League hopefuls before it opens its campaign against the Reno Bighorns on Nov. 30 (Dec. 1 in Manila).

Against Texas, Coach Nate Bjorkgren used nine of his 12 players, benching guards Stefhon Hannah and Travis Leslie and center Rick Jackson.

The NBA D-League website also uploaded a brief video of Aguilar burying a jumper at the league’s pre-season jamboree.


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