SBP assures June Mar Fajardo ‘big part’ of Gilas future
MANILA, Philippines–With bigger plans ahead, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas opted to exclude country’s top big man June Mar Fajardo’s from the latest Gilas Pilipinas pool.
Fajardo was not among the names added to the national pool for the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers on Friday, but SBP president Al Panlilio assured that the five-time PBA MVP is still a crucial part of the Gilas program.
“Fajardo remains to be a big part of the future for the Gilas program. He will in-fact be at his peak form when the WC2023 comes along, he’ll even be an 8-time PBA MVP by that time,” said Panlilio in a statement.
“We will need his dominance and his international experience and we assure all his supporters that they will see Fajardo wearing a Gilas jersey in the near future.”
Fajardo, also the cornerstone of the San Miguel dynasty in the PBA, has been a constant presence for Gilas Pilipinas the past few years, and for this SBP thought “he deserves the extended break.”
“The wear and tear of chasing a PBA Grand Slam and spending his off days with the San Miguel Beermen playing for Gilas will take a toll on anyone.”
SBP is beefing up the Gilas program with fresher legs by including 13 amateur players in the pool in an effort to give international exposure to the young stars and build an “up tempo” team
“As we said in the recent past, this is a development plan for the national team in preparation for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. It’s the early days in our program so we wanted to test youngsters who may be deserving of a shot in future big tournaments,” Panlilio also said.
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