Uichico says ‘you can't stop’ June Mar, Beermen favorites to win PH Cup | Inquirer Sports

Uichico says ‘you can’t stop’ June Mar, Beermen favorites to win PH Cup

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 05:33 PM January 03, 2015

Talk ’N Text head coach Jong Uichico says San Miguel Beer will be a handful in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals for either Alaska or Rain or Shine. PBA IMAGE/Nuki Sabio

Talk ’N Text head coach Jong Uichico says San Miguel Beer will be a handful in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals for either Alaska or Rain or Shine. PBA IMAGE/Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines—If there’s anyone who knows how good of a team San Miguel Beer is, it’s Talk ’N Text head coach Jong Uichico.

Not that Uichico coached the Beermen from 1999 to 2006 and won six championships during that span, but it’s the fact that his Tropang Texters got swept in a seven-game series for the first time in franchise history at the hands of his former team.


And for Uichico, the Beermen are the favorites to win the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup championship.


“They’re strong. I think they have a big, big advantage whoever they play against. Whether it’s Alaska or Rain or Shine, they’ll have a distinct advantage,” said Uichico after Talk ’N Text was shown the door in Game 4 of the semifinals, 100-87.

“For sure [they are the favorites]. Plus 10,” Uichico said, before quickly adding, “It’s not odds. They’re just 10 points better than any team.”

Translating that “big, big advantage” Uichico said into something concrete may very well mean San Miguel Beer’s 6-foot-10 center June Mar Fajardo, who has blossomed as the league’s most dominant player today.

“June Mar is a given that you have to do special things [against him]. But he played so well. He is the MVP and he has improved a lot since Gilas,” Uichico said.

Fajardo, the reigning MVP, averaged 21 points on 69 percent shooting from the field, 11.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game in the semis against the Texters, who threw different defenders at Fajardo to no avail.

Talk ’N Text had trouble containing Fajardo and Uichico believes so will Alaska and Rain or Shine, whose semifinals series could end if the Aces win on Sunday in Game 6 at the resumption of the PBA playoffs following an eight-day break.


The Aces and the Elasto Painters are more equipped to at least make Fajardo work a little bit more on both ends, with Alaska having the likes of Sonny Thoss, Eric Menk, Vic Manuel and the pesky Calvin Abueva and Rain or Shine parading Beau Belga, JR Quinahan and Raymond Almazan.

But as far as Uichico is concerned, it would take more than just manpower to deal with Fajardo and the Beermen, who are loaded from top to bottom with the likes of guard Alex Cabagnot, forward Arwind Santos, wingmen Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz and Ronald Tubid.

“For sure. Always,” Uichico said when asked if other teams are also going to have a hard time against Fajardo. “Unless the other team has a big man also like Slaughter, Asi or Thoss.”

“But you can’t stop him,” Uichico warned. “We were double-teaming him the whole night and he was still able to score.”

Fajardo had 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field that night that went with 16 rebounds, five assists and two blocks to boot.


Keeping the faith

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Jong Uichico: Hardest part was saying goodbye

TAGS: Jong Uichico, June Mar Fajardo, PBA, Philippine Cup, San Miguel Beermen, Talk N Text Tropang Texters

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