WHILE his San Miguel Beer teammates were partying and celebrating their latest PBA championship, here was June Mar Fajardo sweating it out and banging bodies at the Gilas Pilipinas practice on Tuesday night at the Meralco gym.
Then again, this one’s a ‘duty call.’
“Priority natin yung Gilas Pilipinas ngayon,” said Fajardo after attending his first practice with the national team since the Commissioner’s Cup Finals won by the Beermen over the TnT Katropa.
The national team practice coincided with San Miguel’s victory party at the company headquarters in Ortigas, a tradition for the Beermen hosted by SMC president and CEO Ramon S. Ang after every championship won.
Fajardo joined the team when it had an audience with Ang, an opportunity he took to ask permission that he’ll be leaving earlier than everybody in order to attend the Gilas practice.
“Nagpunta yung team doon [sa office of Mr. Ang], so nagpaalam ako. Ok naman sa kanya,” he said. “Sinabi ko na hindi na muna ako sasama sa party. So naintindihan naman ako ng management so thankful ako sa kanila.”
The five-time league MVP arrived at the Gilas practice still wearing the San Miguel Beer victory shirt.
Fajardo didn’t exactly struggle in his first practice back with the national team, but admitted there are new plays that he and fellow latecomers Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy need to learn immediately.
“Sa tingin ko hindi naman ganoon kakumplikado. Kasi na-run din naman namin kanina. Tingin ko madali naman, so sana ma-adapt agad namin.
“May mga plays naman na alam ko, may mga plays din na bago,” Fajardo said.