Home » News » News Roundup » New Roundup » Featured » PBA: SMB duo shifts attention to Gilas

PBA: SMB duo shifts attention to Gilas

With their campaign in the PBA now over, June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter now focus their attention on serving Gilas Pilipinas as preparation gears up for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

The two are part of the San Miguel Beer squad that was eliminated in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup playoffs following a semifinal series defeat to Rain or Shine last Sunday.

Fajardo and Lassiter are part of the 24-man roster that was submitted to FIBA by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), from where Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin will pick the final 12 for the OQT.

With the way they performed in the first two conferences in the PBA, particularly during San Miguel’s championship campaign in the last Philippine Cup, Fajardo and Lassiter are serious considerations for national team spots.

The 6-10 Fajardo said he would use his few days off to visit his family in Pinamungahan, Cebu before joining the start of Baldwin’s training camp of the national team on May 18.

“Uuwi ako ng Cebu for ilang days, then balik for Gilas training,” said the reigning back-to-back league MVP Fajardo, who averaged nearly 21 points and 13 rebounds this season.

As for the sweet-shooting Lassiter, who outside sniping would be critical if the coaching staff of Gilas decides to include him on the final lineup, he said he would recover first after his stint with SMB.

“We’ll be ready when that time comes to resume for Gilas,” said Lassiter, a 40 percent career three-point shooter who averaged 14 points, 4.30 rebounds and 2.30 assists in the first two conferences of the PBA season.

The national team is in Group B of this OQT here with France and New Zealand, while in Group A are Turkey, Canada and Senegal. The top two from each group will advance in the semifinals, with the top two playing in the finals for that lone spot in the Rio Olympics in August in Brazil.

Aside from the OQT here, qualifiers will also be held in Serbia and Italy.