As the San Miguel Beermen marched onto the championship round of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Gilas Pilipinas members like June Mar Fajardo will have an extended stay in the Philippines, missing out on the national team’s Spain training camp.
The Philippines is set to play Spain to open a pocket tournament, and African nations Ivory Coast and Congo in tune-up matches to heighten their preparation for the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup later this month.
Fajardo said he is wary of missing the chance to play against bigs like Pau and Marc Gasol, but also stressed that they have a duty to fulfill with their mother teams.
“Syempre, bihira lang mangyari yon. Pero yun nga, trabaho kailangan,” said the reigning 5-time PBA MVP.
Fajardo scored 19 points on an efficient 7/12 shooting in Game 4 of their semis series against Rain or Shine, helping the Beermen advance to another PBA finals series.
“Magagawan naman siguro ng paraan yun. Wala na tayong magagawa eh, yun ang napagusapan ng PBA. Maiiwan yung nasa finals. Gusto man naming sumama sa training camp pero kailangan laruin (yung finals),” added Fajardo.
Aside from Fajardo, players like Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy will not be able to attend the week-long training camp.
With their focus now on winning the Commissioner’s Cup crown they last won in 2017, Fajardo said the Beermen has a tough task ahead, including trying to limit potential conference best import Terrence Jones of the TNT KaTropa.
“Ita-try naming i-stop siya. Hindi naman totally stop pero i-limit namin siya,” said Fajardo.
Game 1 of the their best-of-7 series will start on Sunday, August 4.