The Philippine national basketball team pool welcomed back its biggest player on Monday as June Mar Fajardo reported to Gilas Pilipinas practice at the Meralco Gym.
The San Miguel Beer center was absent from last week’s training due to flu.
Fajardo, who starred in Gilas’ triumph over Chinese-Taipei at home last November, barely missed a beat as he took part in drills.
He was joined by fellow Gilas pool members Kevin Alas, Kiefer Ravena, June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Carl Cruz, Gabe Norwood, Allein Maliksi, Japeth Aguilar, and Matthew Wright.
Roger Pogoy was also present, but in civilian clothes as he will be in action for TNT KaTropa on Wednesday.
Absent on Monday was Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes, who is on vacation.
Assistant coaches Josh Reyes and Jong Uichico ran the practice in his stead.
Also absent were Calvin Abueva, Mac Belo, Jayson Castro, and Raymond Almazan. Abueva and Almazan have yet to attend Gilas practice this year.
The national team is currently preparing for the second window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. They return to action on February 22 against Australia.
Meanwhile, fewer members of the “23 for 23” pool showed up on Monday.
Abu Tratter, the former De La Salle University center, attended practice for the first time. He was joined by Lyceum of the Philippines University star CJ Perez.
Also present on Monday night was PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial.