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Fit-again Fajardo ready vs Korea

June Mar Fajardo didn’t rule out the possibility of suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup when he was diagnosed with a strained right calf almost two weeks ago.

That likelihood may have become a reality last night after Fajardo declared his readiness to see action against bitter rival South Korea in their quarterfinal match at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut, Lebanon.

Fajardo has been reduced to a role of cheerleader during Gilas’ sweep of Group B, but raised speculations of finally entering the floor after joining the team’s recent practice sessions.

He all but ended the guessing game after Tuesday’s practice, telling Sports5 that: “I’ll try my best na makalaro.

Kaya na siguro.”

“Nung tumakbo ako kanina, okay naman. May discomfort lang pero baka sa utak ko lang na may sumasakit. Hopefully, walang sasakit.”

Gilas conditioning coach Dexter Aseron also told Sports5 that the San Miguel Beermen center had done a good job recovering from the injury, considering that doctors recommended him to take a week rest followed by another week of therapy.

“Maganda ‘yung progression niya from his injury. It’s getting stronger every day. So hopefully, he gets to play tomorrow kahit a few minutes,” said Aseron.

The decision now rest on Gilas coach Chot Reyes on whether Fajardo could be an option for the knockout game against the Korean squad that has penchant of giving the Philippines some of its biggest basketball defeats.

Gilas has never beaten Korea since its famous 86-79 win in the semifinals of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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