June Mar Fajardo: I would play for Gilas if I were healthy | Inquirer Sports

June Mar Fajardo: I would play for Gilas if I were healthy

/ 01:08 PM September 04, 2015

San Miguel therapists working on June Mar Fajardo's injury during Beermen practice on Friday.  Photo by Randolph Leongson

San Miguel therapists working on June Mar Fajardo’s injury during Beermen practice on Friday. Photo by Randolph Leongson

Truth be told, June Mar Fajardo really wants to play for Gilas Pilipinas.

“Gusto ko talaga sumali. Ang sarap kaya maglaro sa Gilas. Gusto ko talagang sumali kasi opportunity yun eh,” the two-time PBA MVP said.

(I really want to join them. I really like playing for Gilas. I want to join because it’s really a different opportunity.)

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But a nagging injury has hampered Fajardo in the off-season and robbed him of a chance to once again suit up for the national team.

READ: SBP willing to wait for Fajardo: ‘The country needs him’

“Mahirap lang talaga kasi na-injure ako. Kung healthy lang ako, bat di ako lalaro? Sabi pa nga ni coach, mabibigyan ako ng minutes eh,” Fajardo said, as he continues his therapy for his plantar fasciitis injury on both feet. “Mahirap lang talaga kasi wala sa kundisyon. Di rin makukuha yung conditioning overnight, kailangan mo pa makasama sa plays eh ilang araw na lang.”

(It’s really hard because I got injured. If I’m just healthy, why wouldn’t I play? Coach even told me that I’ll get minutes. But it’s really tough because I’m not in condition. You can’t get that overnight, and you also need to get the plays with only little time left.)

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Returning from Cebu just this week, Fajardo has been reduced to an observer during San Miguel’s morning practices.

Beermen’s physical therapists constantly worked on Fajardo’s feet as they aimed to ease the pain, something the Cebuano center said he always feels in the morning when he wakes up.

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READ: June Mar Fajardo: I’ll skip Gilas duties for now

Through all of this, Fajardo said that he has kept a close eye on the national team, watching every televised game of the Filipinos in the Jones Cup 2015 in Taipei.

“Nakakaproud din na nananalo sila kasi binibigay nila yung best nila,” he said. “Iniisip ko na nga lang din kung nandun din sana ako kasi wala silang masyadong tao sa poste eh. Wala pa si Andray (Blatche), pero masaya ako kasi binibigay talaga nila yung best nila.”

(I feel really proud that they keep on winning because they’re giving their best. I just think what if I were there because they don’t have much guys playing in the post. Andray Blacthe isn’t even there, but I’m happy because they’re giving their best.)

Fajardo said that he was flattered with coach Tab Baldwin’s declaration that the national team is willing to wait for him.

However, he said that really has no other choice, though painful, but to decline.

“Nakakatuwa na marinig yung ganun kasi two years din ako naglaro sa Gilas eh. Sabi nga ng iba dati, dapat di ako ni-line up. Pero ngayon, mahirap talaga,” he said.

(It’s really good to hear that because I played for Gilas for two years. Some people even said I shouldn’t have been included in the lineup. But now, it’s just hard.)

READ: Gilas window slowly closing except for June Mar Fajardo

But if given a chance in the future to once again be a part of the national team, Fajardo said that he would make up for missing this year’s competition.

“Kung kukunin pa nila ako at healthy ako, lalaro ako. Yun lang talaga tung problema, yung injury lang talaga. Pero kung may next time naman, babawi ako,” he said.

(If they will still call me up and I’m healthy, I will play. That’s really the problem, the injury. But if there’s a next time, I’ll make sure I’ll make the most of it.)

He also said he understands the heat he is getting on social media, saying: “Di mo masisisi yung mga tao kasi gusto lang nila yung mabuti para sa national team. Pero mahirap talaga ngayon eh.”

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(You can’t blame them because all they want is the best for the national team. But it’s really hard right now.)

TAGS: Basketball, Fiba Asia Championships, Gilas Pilipinas, June Mar Fajardo, PBA, Sports

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