June Mar Fajardo out for Gilas’ SEA Games bid, Scottie Thompson doubtful
MANILA, Philippines–June Mar Fajardo, the last remaining member of the ill-fated Philippine team that lost the gold in last year’s Southeast Asian Games, has been officially ruled out for Gilas Pilipinas’ redemption campaign in Cambodia this May.
National coach Chot Reyes confirmed an earlier media report on Wednesday night, shortly after the Nationals’ practice session at Meralco Gym in Pasig City.
“June Mar is out,” Reyes said. “He’s not a hundred percent so why risk it, right? The big picture is the World Cup (in August) so we don’t want to jeopardize his readiness for that.”
Fajardo, the San Miguel cornerstone, hurt his left knee following a collision with a Ryukyu player during the Beermen’s East Asia Super League gig in Japan.
The six-time PBA Most Valuable Player was diagnosed with a medial collateral ligament that also kept him from playing in the season-ending Governors’ Cup playoffs.
Fajardo was part of the Gilas squad that lost to Indonesia, 85-81, in the Hanoi edition of the biennial meet.
Another member of that pro-load roster is TNT’s Roger Pogoy, who has since ruled himself out for the showcase at Phnom Penh with a fractured finger.
SCOTTIE LIKELY OUT
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra star and reigning PBA MVP Scottie Thompson is also shaping up as another potential withdrawal.
“Unlikely. We’re planning for that eventuality,” Reyes said of the tireless playmaker whose wife Jinky is expected to give birth right smack in the middle of the basketball tournament.
If it’s any consolation, Reyes said Ginebra forward and Gilas fixture Japeth Aguilar could still join the Gilas training camp that will ramp up at Inspire Academy in Calamba this Sunday.
A participant of two Basketball World Cups, Aguilar is on his way back to tip-top shape after a calf problem. He played sparingly during the Gin Kings’ championship series after missing a significant number of games.
Fajardo’s absence comes at a time when Ginebra rising star Jamie Malonzo and PBA scoring champion Mikey Williams begged off from Gilas duty.
Also unlikely to join the Gilas camp are TNT’s Poy Erram and AJ Edu.
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