SEA Games: Tim Cone calls June Mar Fajardo a cornerstone for GIlas Pilipinas
Santino Honasan on Oct 01, 2019 11:05 AM
“Obviously he’s a cornerstone of the National Team, him and Jayson [Castro], so we need him on the team and we need him healthy, so we’re going to be patient with him. Again, he’s one of those guys that can pick up stuff really fast,” - Tim Cone on June Mar Fajardo (File Photo: Arvin Lim)
The first official practice for the Tim Cone-led Gilas Pilipinas squad set to represent the country in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games happened Monday evening at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas, and attendance was near-perfect.
Twelve members of the 15-man pool participated in on-court activities, while Christian Standhardinger and Marcio Lassiter were present, but sat on the sidelines as they continue to recover from their respective ailments.
The lone absentee from the group was five-time PBA MVP and eight-time Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo.
Cone explained that Fajardo had some personal business to attend to and expects him to be with the team on Thursday’s session.
“As you know, we’re missing June Mar. June Mar has some personal issue to do tonight and couldn’t make it tonight, we expect him to show up on Thursday,” Cone told the media.
The multi-titled PBA coach also explained that Fajardo was also still dealing with an ankle injury and would have sat out the initial practice, had he been available.
“He has an ankle issue, so he would not have practiced on court with us, he would have been on the side with Chris [Standhardinger] and Marcio [Lassiter], but we’re hoping that [he gets healthy],”
Cone, who was tapped to succeed Yeng Guiao in National Team coaching duties, then took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of having Fajardo, arguably the most dominant big man in the PBA today, on the National Team.
“Obviously he’s a cornerstone of the National Team, him and Jayson [Castro], so we need him on the team and we need him healthy, so we’re going to be patient with him. Again, he’s one of those guys that can pick up stuff really fast,” said Cone.
The 2019 SEA Games, which will be held in the Philippines, begins late November.