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Baldwin, Jolas heap praise on June Mar

June Mar Fajardo: A force to reckon with in the FIBA World Cup. (Photo, FIBA)

Playing in his third FIBA World Cup and fresh from standing his ground against Dominican Republic’s rock-solid big men, June Mar Fajardo remains as Philippine basketball’s premier post presence.

Though newcomer AJ Edu made a lot of heads turn during Gilas Pilipinas’s heartbreaking 87-81 loss to Karl-Anthony Towns and the Dominicans, it was still Fajardo’s veteran moves that stood out last Friday at the Philippine Arena.

Two top coaching minds — Tab Baldwin and Jojo Lastinosa — were the least surprised over the six-time Philippine Basketball Association MVP’s showing.

“He’s in really good shape and he’s a very talented player, so no surprise to me,” wrote Baldwin, the multi-titled coach of Ateneo and Gilas who once steered New Zealand to a fourth-place finish in the World Cup.

Like Baldwin, Lastimosa wasn’t shocked at all by the 6-foot-10 Fajardo.

“June Mar can shine, too, depending on who he matches up against. Against the Dominican Republic, he didn’t have to guard a mobile/stretch big and his guard was just as big as him. So, against Italy, he might be chasing mobile bigs,” Lastimosa added.

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