JUNE Mar Fajardo hopes he could get accustomed to the system of coach Yeng Guiao in time for Team Pilipinas’ game against Kazakhstan on Friday at the resumption of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
The 6-foot-10 San Miguel star sat out the fourth window of the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup in China last September due to a stress fracture on his right shin and he admitted struggling to keep up.
“Sana makuha namin agad (yung sistema) para ma-apply namin sa game sa Friday,” said the four-time PBA MVP, who is playing under Guiao for the first time.
Guiao stressed on Monday after practice that majority of the players have yet to totally get comfortable with his system, Fajardo included.
“Like June Mar, yung instinct niya talaga is to overwhelm his opponents at the post. Pero kung ang opponent mo ay kasing laki mo rin at mas mataas tumalon sa iyo at mas mabilis sa iyo, you might have to find other ways to be effective,” said Guiao.
Fajardo said the next three days of practice would be crucial for him to learn the team’s plays under Guiao, although he believes cohesion is no longer a problem among them.
“Andun na yung chemistry namin. May mga plays na lang kami na talagang kailangan pang i-polish. So may ilang days pa kami na iwo-workout yun,” he said.
As for his condition after coming off an injury, Fajardo said he’s already slowly getting into shape not unlike when he first joined the national team’s practice two weeks ago.
“OK na naman ako. Nakukuha ko na yung rhythm ko. Sana makuha ko na siya totally sa actual games,” he said.
Team Pilipinas will battle Kazakhstan on Friday and Iran next Monday, both at the Mall of Asia Arena, for the fifth and second to the last window of the qualifiers.