BOCAUE—If there was ever any doubt, June Mar Fajardo showed on Friday night that he can also be an offensive force on the Fiba World Cup stage.
Aside from Jordan Clarkson, Gilas also turned to June Mar Fajardo and the six-time PBA MVP didn’t disappoint despite facing quality opposition in Dominican Republic, which was led by its NBA star big man Karl-Anthony Towns.
The only problem was Fajardo didn’t get enough touches late in Gilas’ 87-81 loss to Dominican Republic as coach Chot Reyes would’ve wanted.
“[He’s a] very efficient player, 28 minutes, 16 points, didn’t miss a shot. If there’s one thing I was disappointed about, towards the end we wanted to go to him a lot more,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes at Philippine Arena here.
Fajardo was like his dominant self, just falling short of a double-double with 16 points and seven rebounds. He also went perfect from the field despite at times being guarded by Towns.
“Unfortunately, he was guarded by a seven-footer by the name of Karl-Anthony Towns as well and I thought KAT did a good job of denying him, forcing him to step outside,” Reyes said.
“Credit to them, we wanted to get to him a lot more but they defended him. That’s the mark of a great team.”
Towns finished with a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Gilas faces Angola, which lost its match against Italy earlier, 81-67, next on Sunday at Araneta Coliseum.
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