Team Scottie certainly got a huge break with June Mar Fajardo no longer in the lineup of Team Japeth for Sunday’s PBA All-Star game.
But coach Yeng Guiao doesn’t want his side to fall in a sense of complacency going into the league’s first All-Star game in the last three years.
“We feel na merong slight advantage, but it’s not just about June Mar. It’s not just all about that match up. It’s also about the rest kasi superstars naman lahat ang mga ito,” said Guiao as he practiced with his team on Saturday led by captain Scottie Thompson at the Iloilo Sports Complex.
The game is set at 6 p.m. at the City of Passi Arena, with Team Japeth of coach Tim Cone missing the services of the 6-foot-11 Fajardo, taken no. 2 in the All-Star draft, who opted to skip the showcase after incurring a knee injury in San Miguel Beer’s recent campaign in the East Asia Super League (EASL) Champions Week in Japan.
Taking the place of Fajardo is 6-foot-8 Raymond Almazan of Meralco.
“That’s still going to count as a big man,” said Guiao of Almazan being inserted in the Team Japeth lineup along with last minute entries Arwind Santos, Jio Jalaon, and Alex Cabagnot.
“It makes our problem a little less of what we expected to encounter. But it’s still not all about June Mar alone because the rest of the other guys can make a difference.”