Fajardo tumatak kay Cone
SALUDO si coach Tim Cone sa all-PBA squad na kinuha niya para bumuo sa Gilas Pilipinas.
Mas masarap ang resulta pagkatapos ng isang linggong kampanya -13th straight gold medal at 18th overall sa men’s basketball ng Southeast Asian Games.
Unang gold din ni Cone sa international play.
“I was tasked with the idea of putting a strong team together, coming out and trying to showcase our PBA skills to the Southeast Asian region. And basically we accomplished the mission,” anang winningest coach ng PBA na may 21 titles.
“The experience of being with these guys was just awesome.”
Balanse raw ang binuong team, may June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger, Vic Manuel, Troy Rosario sa frontline, Stanley Pringle, LA Tenorio, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Kiefer Ravena at Matthew Wright sa point at wings.
“The construction of the team was really good in terms of balance, in terms of shooters, big men and defenders. Just the chemistry of the team was awesome,” paliwanag ni Cone. “These guys, they’re all vets. They’re so responsive to anything you ask them to do.”
Wala siyang masabi sa dedikasyon ng kanyang players.
Pero kung may isang kinabiliban ni Cone sa kanyang squad, ‘yun ang gentle giant na si Fajardo.
“They are on time. They follow instructions, and most of all they’re just really humble and unselfish, lead by, June Mar,” bunyag ng coach. “June Mar is the most humble. I’ve seen him over there (kabilang bench) coaching against him all the time.”
Hindi pa niya nahawakan si Fajardo kahit sa PBA All-Star Game, ngayon lang niya nalapitan – nakatingala pa – ang 6-foot-10 slot man ng San Miguel Beer. Ibang impression ang nakita ni Cone sa Cebuano.
“He is just the most humble guy, and he is the funniest guy and he’s a clown. And the team … a five time MVP, and take it up a little bit of, you know, konting mayabang .. wala. Talagang wala. He’s really special. And that kind of permeates to the whole team,” paliwanag niya.
Special mention din kay Cone si Ross.
“Then you have the leadership of Chris Ross. He had such great moments throughout this tournament in terms of turning that switch on for us and getting us going,” punto ng mentor. “The steal, the early play against Vietnam in the second half, the two 3-point shots against Indonesia to get us going. And then the transition, push up the ball, and the defense that he dominated in the third quarter also against Thailand. He had great moments throughout the whole tournament.” (VE)