Fajardo confident Sotto, Tamayo can hold the fort for GilasFajardo confident Sotto, Tamayo can hold the fort for Gilas

Posted by watchmen
February 21, 2024
Posted in SPORTS

 

JUNE MAR FAJARDO (PBA Images)
JUNE MAR FAJARDO (PBA Images)

Gilas Pilipinas will be without June Mar Fajardo in the upcoming 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers later this week.

The 6-foot-10 10-time PBA champion is currently recovering from a calf injury that he sustained during the 2023-2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, and he said that it will take him at least two weeks to completely heal from it.

In the meantime, Gilas will be relying on Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo, as AJ Edu is also currently still recovering from a meniscus tear.

Despite this, the freshly-minted Commissioner’s Cup titlist is confident that Sotto as well as the returning Tamayo will be able to hold the fort for the team.

“Hindi naman mga bata sina Kai,” Fajardo said during the press conference of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Monday, February 19, at the PhilSports Arena.

“Sobrang exposed na sila sa international games,” he added.

Fajardo said that he was actually looking forward to playing with Gilas yet again, but it is just that he is not cleared to play.

“Nakakalungkot kasi gusto ko maglaro sa Gilas. Pero sinabihan ako ng doktor na magpahinga,” the Cebuano star said.

“Ginagawa ko naman ‘yung best ko na sana mag-heal agad para makahabol kami sa mga practices,” he added.

Good thing for him, Sotto is raring to represent the team, especially now that he will be playing for Tim Cone.

“Kahit dati pa, ‘yung dad ko naging player ni coach Tim, ang dami niyang istorya,” said the 7-foot-3 Sotto, as he expressed how he is looking forward to finally playing under the PBA’s winningest mentor.

“Lahat kami, sa short period of time, marami kaming natutunan, and marami kaming ia-apply pagdating sa game,” he added.

And while he will not be playing alongside June Mar, another Gilas veteran’s help is on the way for Japeth Aguilar, who will be returning to the National team and suiting up for this window.

This is why “The Kraken” is optimistic that with Aguilar’s guidance, as well as Tamayo and Sotto’s overseas experience, Gilas will do just fine in the first window that will start this Thursday, February 22, against Hong Kong.

“Kaya na nilang makapagsabayan,” Fajardo said. (ABS-CBN News)

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