FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: Cebuano June Mar Fajardo among those picked by Gilas ambassadors as key players for PH

By: CTU intern Mary Godinez - CDN Digital | August 16,2023 - 11:00 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines– Cebuano June Mar Fajardo was among those picked by Gilas ambassadors Jeff Chan and Gary David to be key players for the national team’s  stint in the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

Chan and David, two of the best gunners in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and prominent figures of the Gilas Pilipinas team, were in Cebu for the Naismith Trophy tour at the SM Seaside City Cebu City on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. 

The event provided an exclusive glimpse of the prestigious Naismith Trophy, a coveted award named in honor of basketball’s creator, James Naismith, bestowed only to the most exceptional players in both men’s and women’s basketball.

Also present during the event was former PBA player now Cebu City Councilor Dondon Hontiveros.


Gilas ambassadors Jeff Chan, Dondon Hontiveros, and Gary David at the SM Seaside City Cebu. CD Digital photo |  Christian Dave Cuizon

Reflecting on the impending World Cup for basketball, Jeff Chan and Gary David shared their top three player picks from the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national team pool of Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes.

David, a five-time PBA all-star, says he chooses CJ Perez, Dwight Ramos, and Fajardo.

READ MORE: Cebu’s June Mar Fajardo excited about the prospect of playing a third World Cup in front of home fans in August

“Ako siguro ngayon si CJ Perez, baby face. Everytime nanonood ako ng mga laro talagang si CJ, ibang-iba yung design niya. Even na hindi siya legit point guard, willing siyang mag take charge as a point guard,” David said.

“Tapos si Dwight Ramos, kasi makita mo si Dwight ang laki ng katawan and tangkad niya  sa posisyon niya, ‘kala mo hindi siya mabilis pero pag gumalaw siya… abot talaga gusto niyang umiscore. Nakakakontrol din siya,” he said of the 6-foot-4 Ramos.

“Tapos siyempre si ‘The Kraken,’ June Mar Fajardo. Malaking bagay talaga sa amin si June Mar,” David said of the Pinamungajan, Cebu native. 

Chan, meanwhile, said that he picks Scottie Thompson, Ramos, and Fajardo.

“Naging teammate ko siya, and I know kung ano yung kaya niyang gawin, kaya niyang ibigay sa team. [He’s an] all-around player,” Chan said of Thompson, his teammate with the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.

Chan said he also picks Ramos because he’s a consistent player. He also describes San Miguel’s Fajardo, the “number one big man,” as threat in the team.

Team to beat

With regards to the teams to beat in the competition, the two veterans think that the United States remains a formidable basketball force. 

Nevertheless, they also recognize the strength of contenders like Spain, Canada, and France, cautioning against underestimating these teams.

The Naismith trophy tour event was hosted by TV personality and Filipino beauty pageant titleholder from Cebu City Kris Janson and Carlo Pamintuan.

The coveted trophy will continue its journey through Davao, Manila, and Ilocos Norte after Cebu.

Next in line for the tour was Davao, with stops at prominent landmarks including the People’s Park, Philippine Eagle Center, and Malagos Chocolate Museum.

The much-anticipated FIBA World Cup games will tip-off on August 25, with an exciting lineup including Angola vs. Italy, Gilas Pilipinas vs. the Dominican Republic at the Philippine Arena, and Mexico against Montenegro, along with Egypt battling Lithuania at the Mall of Asia Arena.



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TAGS: basketball, Cebu‬, Gilas Pilipinas, June Mar Fajardo

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