JUNE Mar Fajardo may be unavailable as a player for Gilas Pilipinas, but never as a fan.
The San Miguel Beer superstar, still recovering from a recurring foot injury, admitted he wanted to join Gilas, which is finalizing its preparations for the Fiba Asia Championship in his hometown Cebu — even just as a spectator.
But he is also focused on his return to the Beermen after being sidelined by a plantar fasciitis injury.
“Syempre naman (miss ko na sila),” Fajardo said on Wednesday night in the PBA Press Corps Awards where received the Defensive Player of the Year plum. “Pero wala ako magawa eh.”
“Gusto ko nga rin sumama ‘dun, pero inisip ko kasi, pag sumama ako ‘dun tapos hindi ako magpa-practice sa team, baka isipin nagbabakasyon lang ako,” he added. “Ayaw ko namang isipin nila ‘yun. So pahinga na lang talaga.”
The 6-foot-10 slotman said he has begun to undergo light training including some drills, but is still taking it slow.
“Mahirap kasi yung plantar, minsan nawawala tapos minsan bumabalik eh.”
Fajardo was flattered upon hearing news that some Final 12 members, including evergreen Asi Taulava, are willing to give up his slot for him, but is prodding his fellow big man to stay on.
“Baka last na niya ‘to sa Gilas tapos ako may chance pa naman ako makalaro,” Fajardo said. “Kung sa awa ng Diyos makapasok sila sa (Olympics), gift niya 'yun sa sarili niya kasi pinaghirapan niya ‘yun eh.”
“Nakakahiya naman,” he added. “Kasi sila naghirap eh…Pero basta ako, pag healthy lang tapos kukunin ako ng Gilas, sige.”