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'Deep, deep' eye poke forces Japeth Aguilar to rush to hospital

Barangay Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar was immediately taken to the hospital on Sunday after his left eye was accidentally poked by teammate Stanley Pringle.

Replays of the incident, which happened with 6:54 left in the Kings' conference opener against Alaska, showed an attacking Pringle inadvertently hitting Aguilar in mid-air as the guard passed to the perimeter.

"It was a deep, deep poke, the one where the finger gets to the side of the eye and gets stuck in there. It wasn't just a scratch. The finger really got in. Hopefully he's alright," coach Tim Cone said after the game.

Aguilar, who sat in visible pain with a swollen eye, ended up with eight points, 11 rebounds, three assists and a block and was not able to wait until the final buzzer sounded on Ginebra's 102-83 win against the Aces.

Cone hopes the big man doesn't sustain anything serious and recovers sometime along Ginebra's six-day break. The Kings won't play again until Sept. 28, when they'll line up against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

"We have five, six days before we play again, so hopefully he'll get right. We sent him to the hospital before the game ended," the coach said. "We'll know more as the information comes in. At this point, we don't know what's going on but we hope it's not too major. The eyes are a delicate thing."