June Mar Fajardo says Iran still has impressive size, depth despite Haddadi absence
June Mar Fajardo stretches after his first match against Iran in three years. Jerome Ascano

What difference three years make.

June Mar Fajardo said he was left awe playing against Iran on Tuesday during a scrimmage with Gilas Pilipinas at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.

The 6-foot-10 San Miguel big man said the Iranians looked even bigger - and to some extent younger - than the last time he played against them in 2013 during the finals of the Fiba-Asia men's championship here in Manila.

"Malakas sila tsaka malalaki," said Fajardo, who didn't get to play opposite Iranian resident big man Hamed Haddadi as the former NBA player decided to skip the team's two-game exhibition match against Gilas.

Taking the place of Haddadi was upcoming big man Asghar Kardoust, who scored on several emphatic dunks against the Gilas big men.

[See Gilas shows glimpse of potential in first tune-up match of year vs Iran]

Fajardo however, said the priority of coach Tab Baldwin was for Gilas to work on its chemistry and execution.

"Sabi niya average pa lang daw yung execution namin. E sa international mahalaga yung execution," said the 25-year-old native of Pinamungahan, Cebu.

Fajardo has also lost weight as obviously gleamed from his lean frame.

He did admit shedding off some extra pounds, but is not aware how much he lost.

"Nagpapayat ako pero di ko alam ilan ang nawala," Fajardo said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos