MANILA – He may have joined team practice yesterday but June Mar Fajardo may still not play for Gilas Pilipinas when the Philippines faces Qatar in the FIBA Asia Cup tonight at the Nouhad Nawfal Arena in Beirut, Lebanon.
Still far from top form, the reigning three-time PBA MVP was still feeling pain from his calf muscle injury.
The 6-foot-10 Cebuano center sustained the injury during San Miguel Beermen’s game against TNT KaTropa last week. He was advised by doctors to stay away from action for two weeks.
Failing to suit up for Gilas in the FIBA Asia tournament for the second straight time frustrated him, Fajardo admitted.
“Gusto ko nga i-question si God. Bakit na injure pa ako this time? Sobrang sama talaga ng timing,” he told Kuwentong Gilas. “Pero na-realize ko kung ano’ng meron ako, kung ano ang narating ko, dahil din iyon kay God.”
“So, instead na i-question ko kung bakit nangyari sa akin itong injury, dapat ipagpalasamat ko na lang na nangyari sa akin ito dahil may magandang plano si God sa akin,” he added.
While hate messages he’s been getting from fans sadden him, Fajardo vowed to focus on working back in shape to possibly join Gilas in the latter part of FIBA Asia.
“Alam ko ngayon sobrang hate ako sa Pinas. Sabi nga ng kaibigan ko, ‘Grabe, daig mo pa iyong politikong napangalanan ni President Digong (Duterte) na sangkot sa droga,’” said Fajardo.
“Sobrang init ng mga tao sa akin pero ano’ng magagawa ko? Wala, talagang na-injure e,” he added. “Di naman natin kagustuhan iyon e. Sino ba naman ang ayaw maglaro? Pag naglalaro naman ako, binibigay naman natin lahat.”
Gilas currently has a clean 2-0 record in Group B after beating China (96-87) and Iraq (84-68). It is also assured of an outright quarterfinals seat regardless of the result of its match against Qatar./PN