Rain or Shine plans to give Fajardo ‘hell’ for 7 games in semis
June Mar Fajardo may be pouring monster numbers in San Miguel’s best-of-7 semifinals series against Rain or Shine, but coach Yeng Guiao knows that at one point, the giant could run out of gas.
“We know exactly that he is going to be the focal point of their offense. We know he’s going to get touches. He’s going to impose his size, his weight inside. That’s what’s going to happen, but our hope is if he has to play 40 minutes and we can extend this series to seven games, and on the seventh game baka lantang gulay na rin sya,” the fiery coach said.
Guiao and Rain or Shine leveled the series to one game apiece on Thursday, 105-97, to make the series a virtual best-of-5.
Just like in the first game, Fajardo had another dominating performance, posting 38 points and 17 rebounds in the San Miguel defeat. So far, the two-time MVP has been averaging 37.0 points, 17.5 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks in the series.
Despite his mammoth production, the Elasto Painters have made a conscious effort to silence his support crew, with only six other players contributing to the Beermen’s cause in Game 2.
“June Mar is almost unstoppable, but we just need to keep him working. We needs to work,” said Guiao. “We know he will make his baskets, but we have to make life difficult for June Mar and you can see that he was missing his free throws in the end game.”
Fajardo muffed seven freebies in the fourth quarter, all important ones which could’ve give the momentum to San Miguel. He shot 12-of-22 from the charity stripe for the game.
The outspoken tactician said that that the ElastoPainters’ game plan for the rest of the series will remain focused on trying to slow down Fajardo.
“We will make it really hard for him because that’s our only chance.. The longer the series goes, the better it is for us,” Guiao said.
“If this series goes to a Game 7, we’ll try to give him hell for seven games. That’s how it’s going to go because we have no one to match up with him.”