MANILA, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo underscored the need to stay healthy as Gilas Pilipinas hobbles into the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers without several of its big men.
The six-time PBA MVP is expected to carry a heavier load for the national team, which will be without Kai Sotto, Japeth Aguilar, and Angelo Kouame in its pair of home games against Lebanon and Jordan later this February.
Sotto got ruled out by head coach Chot Reyes, while Aguilar and Kouame both sustained knee injuries.
“We all need good rest,” said Fajardo in Filipino after putting up 29 points and 12 rebounds for San Miguel in a 145-132 win over NorthPort in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday, February 15.
It will be a busy next couple of weeks for Fajardo as he juggles his time between the national team and the Beermen with other commitments.
After the Asian Qualifiers, the 6-foot-10 big man is set to lead San Miguel in the East Asia Super League Champions Week, which will run in Japan from March 1 to 5.
Fajardo will then see action in the PBA All-Star Weekend in the Passi City, Iloilo from March 9 to 12 as a potential captain in the All-Star Game.
“The schedule will be hectic. I need to sleep and eat properly,” Fajardo said. “I need to eat a lot of vegetables.”
Despite being swamped with responsibilities, Fajardo continues to excel for the Beermen, averaging 15 points, 12 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks as they tote a league-best-tying 6-1 card in the PBA. – Rappler.com
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