Fajardo set to join SMB scrimmages

Fajardo set to join SMB scrimmages

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Beer is expecting June Mar Fajardo to return and be on hand for the squad’s upcoming training sessions.

“Yes. But his practices will be supervised,” SMB team manager Gee Abanilla told The STAR.

Fajardo is well on his path to recovery after fracturing his right shin in practice in February 2020.

After more than a year of healing and rehab, the 6-foot-10 superstar has managed to join San Miguel’s online workouts. Prior to lockdown, he was set to do court drills.

SMB coach Leo Austria said the plan is to “slowly but surely” bring the six-time MVP back in the scheme of things for the PBA season being eyed next month.

The Beermen, meanwhile, hope to begin their scrimmages this week.

“If plans fall into place, we would like to start Wednesday or Thursday,” said Abanilla.

San Miguel prefers to train in Metro Manila but isn’t discounting the possibility of taking the Batangas City option.

“We are just waiting for the final word from the PBA as well as the necessary clearance from our LGU (local government unit),” said Abanilla.

Taking the same route as sister team Meralco Bolts, the TNT Tropang Giga are setting camp in Ilocos Norte this week to step up on their pre-season buildup.

“We’re leaving for Ilocos on Wednesday until the 31st,” said head coach Chot Reyes, who looks forward to his first full-on practice sessions with the team since his appointment last February.

Majority of the teams are in a wait-and-see mode.

“At the moment, nothing’s set yet. I believe we’re still waiting for the PBA announcement if we’d be allowed to stay and practice in Manila from IATF and GAB (Games and Amusements Board). But if not, I was told we are waiting for practice schedule time in Batangas from the PBA office for us hopefully by Thursday,” said Rain or Shine mentor Chris Gavina.

“Right now wala pang official venue. But try namin matapos in a few days so we can start by Wednesday or Thursday,” said Magnolia’s Chito Victolero, whose team signed rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi to a two-year contract ahead of the scrimmages.

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