June Mar Fajardo keeps his cool as Phoenix doubles effort to wear Beermen down
MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix turned the physicality up a notch against San Miguel Beer in Game 2 of their Philippine Cup semifinals.
San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo took the brunt of Phoenix’s rugged play as the Fuel Masters threw everything but the kitchen sink in an attempt to slow down the reigning five-time MVP.
Fajardo admitted there were instances in the game where he nearly let his emotions get the better of him.
“Nagtitimpi na ko, kasi pag papatol ako sa physicality, parang mawawala ako sa game eh. Tina-try ko mag-focus sa game eh kasi nga ayoko mawala sa game,” Fajardo told reporters Monday after leading the Beermen to a 92-82 comeback win.
(I’m just trying to keep my cool because I don’t want to lose my focus on the game. That’s what’s going to happen if I let the physicality get in my head. I don’t want to lose myself in the game.)
“Gusto ko and gusto namin manalo. Pag nawala ako sa game, mahirap so as much as possible, hindi ko na lang papatulan yun.”
(We want to win and if it’s going to be tough if I lose my focus on the game so I prevent myself from giving in to it as much as possible.)
Despite Phoenix’s defensive game plan, Fajardo still came away with 19 points and 18 rebounds while facing multiple defenders.
The Beermen want no letup heading into Sunday’s Game 3 where Fajardo is bracing for an even more physical encounter.
“Of course, mas magiging pisikal pa sa Game 3,” Fajardo said. “Siyempre gusto nilang manalo and kami rin gusto namin maka 3-0 para mas malaki yung chance namin makapasok ng finals pero alam naman natin na hindi basta basta bibigay yung Phoenix.”
(Of course, it’s going to be more physical in Game 3. They want to win and we also want to go up 3-0 for us to have a better chance of making the finals but we all know that Phoenix won’t go down that easy.)
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