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    SMB coach Leo Austria bracing for worst, admits June Mar Fajardo likely out of PBA Finals

    Jan 16, 2016
    Leo Austria is prepared for any eventuality ahead of Game One. Jerome Ascano

    THERE has been no official word on the status of injured big man June Mar Fajardo, but San Miguel coach Leo Austria admits he is bracing for the worst.

    The SMB coach said he’s ready to face the specter of not having his best player around when the Beermen go into Game One of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Alaska beginning on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    “I don’t have the official results of his (MRI) examination, but most likely, he can’t play in the series,” said Austria as the Beermen prepared for practice on Saturday afternoon.

    Fajardo is still confined at the hospital after twisting his left knee in Game Six of the semis on Friday night that left him crumpled on the floor in pain after Rain or Shine team captain Jireh Ibanes tried to box him out during a rebound play in the third quarter.

    [See Doctors fear Fajardo has partially torn ACL, out of PBA Finals]

    Although he’s now preparing the Beermen of not having their star player for the title series, Austria could only hope the injury suffered by the 6-foot-11 Gilas Pilipinas stalwart would not be serious enough.

    “Huwag naman sana,” was his brief reply when asked if he thinks the injured knee would leave Fajardo sidelines for a long time.

    Team manager Gee Abanilla said result of Fajardo MRI test won't be available until Monday, but told reporters Fajardo's ACL and MCL (ligaments) are intact. 

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    Leo Austria is prepared for any eventuality ahead of Game One. Jerome Ascano
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