JUNE Mar Fajardo has played down fears that Gilas Pilipinas’ progress might go stagnant in the face of feeble opposition in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship.
Asked if he’s worried after the Filipino dribblers rolled to their third straight blowout victory with a 106-51 demolition of Malaysia on Sunday night, the Gilas Pilipinas slotman disagreed, implying coach Chot Reyes has them on a tight leash.
“’Di naman (worried) kasi lagi naman kami nire-remind ni coach na kahit ‘di ganun kalakas yung kalaban, kailangan pa din namin i-go hard, kung paano kami nag-prepare para sa tournament na to,” the two-time PBA MVP said.
“Sabi ni coach, dapat hindi i-disrespect yung kalaban kahit tambak na and at the same time i-respeto yung game,” Fajardo added.
The Filipinos breezed past the Malaysians even with Fajardo not doing any heavy lifting as he saw the least action among his teammates, playing just eight minutes, and scoring only five points and grabbing four boards.
With a view from the bench, Fajardo felt there are only a few things they need to improve on.
“Wala naman siguro, ginagawa lang ni coach tina-try niya ibang combinations, preparation para way ahead, ‘di ba kaya ayun,” Fajardo said. “Tapos pinapabayaan kami ni coach na maglaro but at the same time, kontrolado niya yung game, kailangan sundin yung sistema.”
“Maganda yung pinapakita namin, maganda performance ng team, so sana tuloy-tuloy,” he added.