The last member of the squad that failed to defend the gold in SEA Games basketball will no longer be part of the group that will seek redemption in the upcoming regional biennial meet set on May 9 to 16 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes announced on Wednesday, April 26 that June Mar Fajardo has already been ruled out as he still is recovering from a knee injury which sidelined him during the latter stages of the PBA Season 47 Governors’ Cup.
“He is not a hundred percent so why risk it, right? We don’t want something bad to happen to him,” said Reyes.
“The big picture is the World Cup. We don’t want to jeopardize June Mar’s readiness,” he added.
The 33-year-old Cebuano sustained the injury during San Miguel’s stint in the EASL Champions Week and never returned. The Beermen eventually crashed out of the playoffs of the season-ending conference via 0-3 beating from Brgy. Ginebra in the best-of-five semifinal series.
Aside from Fajardo, TNT sniper Roger Pogoy also begged off from national team duties due to a fractured right pinkie.
Fil-Ams Jamie Malonzo and Mikey Williams won’t be available as well due to personal commitments in the United States.
Without Fajardo, left to man the middle for Gilas are Christian Standhardinger, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Mason Amos, and Mike Phillips.