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Reyes not intent on going for late June Mar replacement

June Mar Fajardo's potential absence in the FIBA Asia Cup can make matters more difficult for Gilas. (File photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Coach Chot Reyes said on Saturday that Gilas will fight in the FIBA Asia Cup with 11 men if center June Mar Fajardo opts to sit out the tournament.

"Nope, we will not replace June Mar. Bakit pa?" Reyes told some sportswriters present after the team's last practice before the FIBA Asia Cup at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside the Ateneo campus when asked about the possibility of a late replacement for the 6-foot-10 San Miguel beanpole, who injured his right calf on Wednesday.

Chris Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, and Raymond Almazan are expected to fill the void that will be left by Fajardo, but Reyes remains wary of what Gilas' opponents can bring to the table.

"They're ranged against a couple of seven-footers and a couple of 6-11 guys. It's going to take a tremendous amount of effort," Reyes continued.

But Manager Butch Antonio, in a separate interview, vowed that "puso" will be Gilas' battlecry again.

"We will try our best," Antonio specifically vowed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno