SMB’s Fajardo expects tougher games ahead after squeaker over Magnolia
ANTIPOLO — With the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup shifting to another gear, June Mar Fajardo is bracing for tougher games ahead.
Facing one of the hottest teams in the league in Magnolia, Fajardo, the reigning four-time PBA MVP, got an early taste of playoff basketball on Sunday.
“We’re expecting more of those and it’s really tiring,” said Fajardo, who had scratch marks all over his arms after the Beermen’s tight 77-76 win over the Hotshots.
Kept in check by the Magnolia defense, Fajardo struggled from the field, shooting 4-of-11, but still managed to produce 19 points.
What couldn’t be denied, however, was his imposing presence down low especially on the defensive end, grabbing 21 rebounds while also blocking two shots.
“All the teams are closely tied in the standings. You really need to get the win to make it to the playoffs,” he said.
Fajardo feels the duel won’t be the last time San Miguel will meet Magnolia as he anticipates the Hotshots, together with Ginebra, which beat the Beermen last week, to make deep runs in the postseason.
That’s why Fajardo couldn’t stress the importance of having a healthy team in San Miguel’s bid to retain the all-Filipino crown.
“We need to be in condition because the physicality is really intense. We need to be at our peak condition so that we won’t tire that easily,” he said.
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