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    Arwind Santos expects Fajardo to be an even better player after another Gilas duty

    Jun 16, 2016
    June Mar Fajardo is away training with Gilas for the Olympic qualifier. Jerome Ascano

    THE San Miguel Beermen expects big man June Mar Fajardo to get even better once he joins the team in the PBA Governors Cup straight from his stint with Gilas Pilipinas.

    Star forward Arwind Santos and import AZ Reid both sees the 6-foot-10 center to be in tip-top shape and anchor the Beermen’s title retention bid in the season-ending tournament.

    “Yung nilalaro niya sa Gilas mas lalo siyang mag-iimprove dun,” Santos acknowledged after a tiring San Miguel team practice Thursday at the Acropolis gym.

    “Tapos madala niya pa sa San Miguel yun, di mas maganda, di ba?”

    [See AZ Reid: 'It's my time now']

    Fajardo, the reigning back-to-back league MVP, was left as the sole center for a Gilas side that’s vying in the coming Manila leg of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament after fellow big man Greg Slaughter backed out due to an ankle injury.

    It will be the first stint back for the 25-year-old Fajardo with the national team since the 2013 Fiba Asia Men’s Championship and the Fiba World Cup the following year.

    Continue reading below ↓

    But the Cebuano native was a different player once he returned and suited up for the Beermen, whom he later led to three league championships, including back-to-back titles in the Philippine Cup.

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    “June Mar’s going to be June Mar. I know he’s in great shape now,” said Reid for his part.

    Santos, a former MVP himself, said he could only keep his fingers crossed that Fajardo will remain healthy with Gilas, all the way to his return stint with the Beermen.

    “Sana nga ganun ang mangyari, sana hindi siya ma-injury,” said the power forward out of Far Eastern University. “Sana mas malakas siya pag-balik sa amin.”

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    June Mar Fajardo is away training with Gilas for the Olympic qualifier. Jerome Ascano
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