Fajardo, Manuel in the spotlight as San Miguel, Alaska clash
San Miguel and Alaska have had quite a history for the past four years.
Of the Beermen’s last five championships, three came against Alaska and none was more memorable than the 2016 Philippine Cup when San Miguel erased a 3-0 series deficit to complete the mythical “Beeracle.”
And although San Miguel will face Alaska in a lesser stage, a semifinals series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, there’s still some intrigue surrounding the matchup especially for reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.
For one there’s the prospect of matching up against Vic Manuel, who’s in the running for the Best Player of the Conference.
“Vic’s playing so well this conference, he’s scoring 20-plus a game and he’s really playing so good right now,” said Fajardo in Filipino after their 106-102 win over TNT to complete the quarterfinals sweep.
“We have to mark him down but for sure there will be one player from us who will be designated to guard him we just have to help each other as a team.”
Manuel is the highest scoring local in the league up to this point in the conference averaging 24.18 points with 6.36 rebounds while Fajardo, the no.3 Filipino in terms of scoring, is not far behind with 19.64 points and 11.36 boards.
The other intriguing matchup for Fajardo is facing mentor Danny Ildefonso, who became Alaska’s big man coach at the start of the season and is one of the reasons for Manuel’s stellar play.
Fajardo said Ildefonso may have an insight on how to stop him but he stressed that basketball is not just about one player.
“That’s okay, maybe he will give pointers on how to guard me,” said Fajardo who had 19 points and 12 rebounds against the KaTropa. “If that happens, we still have other players who can score for us. We just have to play as a team.”
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