Fajardo believes Mason Amos can be next big thing in PH basketball
JUNE Mar Fajardo has yet to see Mason Amos in a live game setting, but the six-time PBA MVP has already seen enough in Gilas Pilipinas practices to basically anoint him as the next big thing.
Fajardo on Mason Amos
“Impressed,” Fajardo said after national team training on Monday. “Hindi ko pa siya nakita (sa live game), pero maganda yung pina-practice niya. May shooting sa labas tapos pumo-poste.”
“Sobrang fundamental yung ano niya, ganda ng mga galaw niya,” he added of his new teammate in the 24-man Gilas pool that’s preparing for the last window of the Fiba World Cup qualifiers this month.
The 6-foot-7 Amos put himself on the map last August in the Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship last August in Iran where he averaged 21.2 points, highlighted by 2.8 treys on an efficient 44.7-percent clip from beyond the arc, on top of 5.8 boards, and 1.5 assists in 26.3 minutes over six games.
He made his youth team debut on the same day he turned 18 on August 21 when Gilas Youth rolled past Syria, 112-48.
That gives Amos an edge over Fajardo in terms of early national team experience.
“Mas ano ‘to sa’kin…syempre bata pa siya tapos exposed na agad siya sa ganitong ano sa Gilas. Mas advantage sa kanya,” Fajardo said.
The San Miguel cornerstone started wearing the national colors only in 2013 when he was 23 as part of the national team that won a silver medal in the Fiba Asia Championship, setting the stage for the country’s return to the Fiba World Cup the following year.
Whether Amos makes the 12-man roster either against Lebanon or Jordan on Feb. 24 and 27, respectively, or not, he’s already gaining valuable experience from national team practices as he gears up for Ateneo in the UAAP.
“Malaking boost sa confidence niya yun. Magagamit niya yun sa UAAP,” Fajardo said.