Mid-range game good enough for June Mar Fajardo, says Yeng Guiao
MANILA, Philippines—If there’s one head coach in the PBA that likes his big men shooting from long range, it’s NLEX’s Yeng Guiao.
Even during his time with Rain or Shine, Guiao not only allowed his centers and power forwards to shoot from deep, he straight up encouraged them.
From Beau Belga to JR Quiñahan and even Asi Taulava, Guiao had no problems pushing his bigs to hit outside shots.
So when San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo, who is Guiao’s player in the national team, hit a three against the Road Warriors the fiery head coach’s opinion had to be instantly asked.
Guiao said that Fajardo can shoot three-pointers on occasion but it would be hard to believe seeing the 6-foot-10 center, who primarily operates in the paint, moving out towards beyond the arc.
“I think every once in a while he’s going to hit a three-point shot but I don’t see him doing that on a regular basis,” said Guiao after NLEX’s 121-11 loss to San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s something that you have to develop for a longer period of time. He’s going to have to take a lot more three-point shots in order to [be consistent] but every once in a while that’s going to happen.”
Fajardo made his third career triple in the first quarter with the shot clock about to expire to give the Beermen a 28-4 lead.
In comparison, Fajardo’s one three-point field goal this season is just a fraction of what Belga, Quiñahan, and Taulava have had.
Belga already has six this season while Quiñahan and Taulava have made 12 and two, respectively.
Guiao said that Fajardo may not necessarily have to take shots from beyond the arc for the national team since the center’s mid-range game is already sufficient.
“For the purposes of the national team, his medium range shot is good enough, you don’t need to shoot a three to be effective,” said Guiao. “As long as you can step out and shoot a 15, 16-foot jumper with some accuracy.”
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.