Rookies June Mar Fajardo and Alex Mallari played their first tuneup game in a Petron uniform on Thursday morning, and they got high passing marks.
Fajardo, the top overall pick, and Mallari, selected third overall, showed a lot of promise during their team’s 101-98 loss against the reigning Governors Cup champion Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
“Magaling sila,” Guiao told InterAKTV. “They have a lot of potential and they give Petron a different look. We see the rise of a new era in Petron with the acquisition of young players, including Fajardo and Mallari.
“I don’t know what grade should I give them, but I will definitely give them high marks.”
Petron team consultant Rajko Toroman, graded the two rookies on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, for their performances on both ends of the court.
“On offense, I think they deserved to be graded by eight,” said Toroman. “We should be satisfied with the way they played even though this is the first time they see action for our team. On defense, they need a lot of catching up to do, so I will give them a six.”
Gabe Norwood, one of the leaders of the Elasto Painters, came away impressed by Fajardo and Mallari.
In one sequence, Fajardo caught Norwood on a solid screen to free up Joseph Yeo. “Man, he knocked me down on my butt in one play,” said Norwood. “But Fajardo looks impressive. He’s big and tall and he can play.”
Norwood was also impressed by Mallari’s play. “What’s interesting to see is how he will be able to play once Marcio [Lassiter] and Chris [Lutz] return,” said Norwood.
“But I have to give the rookies a 7.5 to 8 in a scale of 1 to 10.”
San Miguel Corporation executive Noli Eala was wowed by Fajardo’s first game.
“I haven’t checked yet how many rebounds he pulled down, but he did score 17 points and that was impressive for someone playing in his first preseason game,” said Eala.
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