San Miguel shows it can win without June Mar Fajardo, but ‘double’ the effort needed
MANILA, Philippines–Coach Jorge Gallent believes San Miguel Beer can soldier on without the injured June Mar Fajardo based on the way it performed in Wednesday’s win over NLEX in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
“This game showed us that we can win without the big boy,” Gallent said after the Beermen’s 120-106 victory over the Road Warriors at Philsports Arena in Pasig City. “If the players step it up and give a lot of effort, the W will come.”
Fajardo is set to miss at least six weeks with an MCL sprain he suffered while San Miguel played in the East Asia Super League in Japan, and his latest injury has caused concern about chances of winning the season-ending crown.
But San Miguel already has the twice-to-beat at hand even before Fajardo went down, a good start in Gallent and crew’s bid to go on a deep run in the playoffs.
San Miguel also got a big game from import Cam Clark, who finished with 45 points and 17 rebounds against NLEX.
It’s a performance that came despite San Miguel practically having nothing to play, except for seeding purposes.
The Beermen have already secured the twice-to-beat advantage but can still end up as the top seed going into the quarters depending on the outcome of Friday’s doubleheader.
At 8-2, San Miguel plays eliminated Rain or Shine while 9-1 TNT and 8-2 Barangay Ginebra square off in the nightcap.
“I hope they continue playing hard and playing with a lot of effort because I know June Mar is a big factor here so we have to really double up on offense and defense when June Mar is not here,” Gallent said.