Leo Austria said San Miguel Beer is ready to face the red-hot Alaska side on Wednesday with or without their injured star center June Mar Fajardo when the two powerhouse ball clubs collide for the 1st time in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo has skipped the team’s practice the past 2 days to rest his right knee, which he injured after a freak accident in the first half of the Beermen’s 108-105 loss to Rain or Shine last Friday.
“Di na muna namin pinag-ensayo si June Mar kasi ayaw na naming ma-disrupt yung healing process ng tuhod niya,” Austria told FOX Sports, shortly after the team’s Monday morning practice at Acropolis gym in Libis, Quezon City.
The multi-titled PBA champion coach explained that Fajardo’s right knee is still swelling. And while results of the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is still unavailable, Austria believes the two-time league MVP’s injury isn’t that serious.
“Parang bugbog lang naman yung nangyari sa tuhod ni June Mar, saka may konting pamamaga lang,” said Austria, whose team blew a 19-point advantage against the Elasto Painters.
“Wala naman nasirang ligament sa tuhod niya. Parang buto lang na naumpog sa kanto ng kama,” he added with a smile.
The San Miguel coach said he intends to sit Fajardo out for Wednesday’s clash with Alaska, the first time both squads will be facing off since the Game 7 of the Philippine Cup Finals won by the Beermen.
But should the Cebuano big man feel good about his knee, he might let him play a few minutes just to get the feel of the game again.
“Kung ako ang tatanungin, di ko na siya papalaruin, pero siyempre, depende na rin yan kay June Mar kasi minsan gustom niya maglaro,” he said.
“Para sa akin kasi, kailangan namin si June Mar sa future, especially sa next phase kaya mabuti na magpahinga muna siya,” added Austria, who has guided the Beermen to 3 PBA championships in the last 4 conferences. – By Richard Dy
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