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    Gilas big man June Mar Fajardo talks about online clamor to give him more playing time in Fiba World Cup

    Sep 2, 2014

    SEVILLE, SPAIN - June Mar Fajardo said he wasn't aware of any online clamor to give him more playing time in the 2014 Fiba World Cup - and like a good soldier, he would have none of it.

    "Wala akong alam, offline ako," the Gilas Pilipinas slotman told Spin.ph on Tuesday at the lobby of the Barcelo Renacimiento Hotel just after a short weights training session, a day after the Filipinos dropped an 81-85 loss to world No. 3 Argentina.

    June Mar Fajardo more than held his own against Luis Scola and Co. Photo from Fiba.com

    Fajardo's playing time has come under scrunity as he starts to come into his own in the Gilas program, putting in a couple of big games including a six-point, two-rebound performance while battling the likes of Luis Scola and Andres Nocioni in just 9:13 minutes on the floor.

    No wonder basketball fans feel he deserved to stay longer on the court - and certainly should've played in the second half of the Argentina game.

    [See Argentina given a scare by fighting Gilas side]

    However, the 6-10 former University of Cebu star was quick to brush off the issue of playing time, saying such matters are better left to the discretion of Gilas coach Chot Reyes.

    "May game plan naman si coach, kailangan natin respetuhin ang game plan n'ya. Wala naman kaming right para magreklamo - coach 'yan e, player lang kami," the reigning PBA MVP said.

    Fajardo said Gilas will never hear a word from him about playing time. 

    "Kung ano ang ibibigay n'ya (Reyes)," Fajardo said. "(Kailangan) magpasalamat pa nga kami na naging part kami ng Gilas."

    Continue reading below ↓

    [Chot Reyes: Fajardo will be used when the game situation calls for it]

    Fajardo admitted he took a lot of time finding his feet in the Gilas program because he struggled to get used to his back-up role to Andray Blatche where, unlike in the PBA where he had all the time to find his rythm, he had to go hard the moment he steps on the floor.

    "Kailangan lang talagang i-maximize ang minutes mo, kasi alam naman natin na limited minutes lang kami aside from Andray. So hindi mo na dapat kailangan magpa-init pa," he told Spin.ph.

    "Di na kasi ito kamukha ng PBA na kailangan mo pang magpainit dahil alam mo mahaba pa ang playing time mo. Dito dire-diretso na, pagpasok go hard ka na kaagad," Fajardo added.

    Fajardo, however, made it clear he is ready to step up if given a lot more exposure on the floor, especially with naturalized player Blatche struggling with tendinitis on his knee.

    "Mahirap din mag-adjust. Pero alam ko naman ang role ko dito, kinuha ako sa Gilas para back-up kay Andray. Sana healthy lang s'ya pero kung papalaruin ako ni coach, bibigay ko lang ang best ko," he said.

    [See Find out why Reyes was almost forced to sit out Blatche]

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