Fajardo’s guard-like skills don’t surprise Austria
If there’s one guy who was not surprised with the moves June Mar Fajardo trotted out in the 2016 PBA All-Star Game, it was his head coach Leo Austria.
“Ginagawa niya sa practice yun,” he said.
Handling the South All-Stars this time out, Austria didn’t have to be separated from his 6-foot-11 center, giving him the green light to do whatever he feels on the court.
“Alam ko na capable siya mag-dribble. Actually nung college, nagbababa siya ng bola pag nagpe-press ang kalaban,” Austria said of the two-time PBA MVP.
“Yung touch niya sa three, meron sya. He keeps on trying to take the shot sa tres nung practice yesterday, kaya lang pagdating sa official game sa amin, mas maraming magaling sa kanya tumira. That’s why I advise him to stay in the shaded area, but you can never know. Sometimes if the time is winding down and nobody wants to take the shot, pwede rin siya.”
Austria, though, relished coaching in the All-Star Game despite being on the losing end this time, as the North beat the South anew, 154-151, on Sunday.
“Ang usapan naman namin, enjoy the game and have some fun pero play to win. Unfortunately, we lost the game because the other side is really serious. I have to give time to all the players because they are deserving to have at least 15 minutes each,” said the San Miguel Beer mentor.
However, Austria said that he would have loved to keep his All-Star Game winning streak alive.
“Back-to-back sana ako. Back-to-back sa All-Filipino at sa All-Star pero bawi na lang siguro kami this conference,” he said.
San Miguel returns to action against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday.
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