SMC players Fajardo, Aguilar attend Gilas practice despite PBA row


June Mar Fajardo was among those who attended Gilas’ practice Friday night. Josh Albeda, ABS-CBN Sports/File photo

Several players from San Miguel teams attended Gilas Pilipinas’ practice Friday night, the first since the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) was hit by an internal strife between warring groups of governors.

San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar, and Star’s Jio Jalalon, who are all members of SMC teams, showed up during their closed-door practice at Meralco Gym in Pasig City Friday night.

This was following an assurance from SMC officials that their players will remain available for flag and country despite their rift with other PBA governors who want to move on from Chito Narvasa’s leadership as PBA commissioner.

Other who were seen attending the practice on Friday night were Alaska’s Carl Bryan Cruz, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, and Phoenix’s Matthew Wright.

Gilas is preparing for the FIBA Asia World Cup qualifiers that will begin on November 27.

They will take on Japan on November 24 in Tokyo and Chinese-Taipei on November 27 at home.

The team governors who opposed Narvasa’s reappointment are Ramon Fernandez (NLEX), Dickie Bachmann (Alaska), Patrick Gregorio of TNT, Mert Mondragon (Rain Or Shine), Al Panlilio (Meralco), Silliman Sy (Blackwater) and Raymond Zorrilla (Phoenix).

Those who sided with Narvasa are Tomas Alvarez (Kia Picanto), Eric Arejola (GlobalPort) and SMC team governors Alfrancis Chua (Barangay Ginebra), Robert Non (San Miguel Beer) and Rene Pardo (Star).

The 5 PBA team governors supporting the extension of Narvasa have agreed to sit down with colleagues opposing their views to “maintain the integrity of the PBA and protect the interest of fans nationwide.”

Narvasa’s term and other issues will be discussed on November 14.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)

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