Japeth to try out in NBA D-League

MANILA, Philippines - Talk 'N Text's athletic forward Japeth Aguilar is scheduled to have a tryout with the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA Developmental League next week, which may determine his next move as far as his PBA career is concerned.

The 6-foot-9 Aguilar has been invited by the D-Fenders, where he is set for a tryout on Sept. 8 and 9, according to his representative Marvin Espiritu. He left for the US last Aug. 19, where he will also visit his parents in Chicago.

Aguilar's three-year contract with TNT already expired last July 31, and a fresh one-year deal has been forwarded to him, said Espiritu, which is a maximum contract of P350,000. Aguilar has yet to sign a deal pending the results of his D-League tryout.

"He might get an offer to play there. If that happens, they (with his family) will study his options," Espiritu said yesterday.

TNT started its first training session also yesterday at the Moro Lorenzo in Ateneo under former consultant Norman Black, who was assigned by management to handle the coaching chores with coach Chot Reyes now with Smart-Gilas 2.

Aguilar's name has been mentioned in trade talks.

New team GlobalPort of owner Mikee Romero already expressed their desire, according to sources, to get the services of the high-leaping player. To get Aguilar, Romero is said to be willing to package center Rabeh Al-Huissaini and forward Francis Allera.

"Once Japeth signs (with TNT), then the negotiation will follow," one person privy to the talks said. "Because how can they strike a deal when Japeth has no contract? Let's wait and see what will happen after his tryout."

Romero got his wish of owning a ballclub in Asia's first pro league after his Sultan 900 Capital Inc. - where he is president and CEO - purchased the Powerade Tigers franchise of Coca-Cola Bottlers PH Inc. franchise for a P100 million last month.

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