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PBA: SMB can wait for Fajardo to fully recover

by Jonas Terrado

The San Miguel Beermen are taking a long-term approach when it comes to the condition of prized center June Mar Fajardo, who earlier this month was diagnosed with a strained right calf that forced him to miss the early stages of the FIBA Asia Cup for Gilas Pilipinas.

Fajardo played just seven minutes in the Beermen’s 115-112 victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as a precaution for not only his calf strain but also a recurring injury of his left knee.



The 6-foot-10 center was forced to miss the first three games of the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon before logging an average of almost 13 minutes in its remaining matches against South Korea, Lebanon and Jordan.

“Unfortunately para kay June Mar, di namin siya i-ginamble dahil this is a long season for him, and we don’t want to aggravate his injury e dahil after this conference may Gilas na naman,” Austria said.

Fajardo is expected to play a major role for Gilas when it returns to action in November for the home-and-away qualifier of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

But the Beermen would like to see him get into near perfect condition as they seek to complete a rare Grand Slam in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

San Miguel is carrying a 3-1 record going into game against NLEX which was being played at presstime.

The Beermen play three games in the eight days following last night’s match, beginning with an out-of-town meet with the Alaska Aces in Angeles City, Pampanga on Sept. 2.

They next face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Sept. 6 at the Big Dome, before facing Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sept. 10 at the same venue.

Fajardo, meanwhile, refrained from giving a timetable on when he’ll be able to make a full recovery, but assured that he won’t be missing any games.

“Di ko pa alam. Pero maglalaro naman ako,” he said.