PBA Finals: June Mar Fajardo plays true to form in San Miguel rout

PBA Finals: June Mar Fajardo plays true to form in San Miguel rout

/ 10:55 PM February 04, 2024

June Mar Fajardo San Miguel Beer PBA Finals Game 2

San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo imposes his will in the pain against Magnolia in Game 2 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—If Game 2 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals proved anything, it’s that there’s a reason why June Mar Fajardo is a seven-time MVP, according to coach Jorge Gallent.

After the Beermen’s 109-85 decimation of Magnolia on Sunday for a 2-0 lead, Gallent heaped high praises toward Fajardo, and for good reason.

“June Mar does a lot for this team. He plays good defense and when he gets the ball to the post, he can do a lot of things. He’s a great passer and great post player. If they don’t double him, he’s going straight to the basket but if they do, he passes the ball very well. That’s why he’s the seven-time MVP,” said Gallent.

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June Mar Fajardo San Miguel Beer Game 2 PBA Finals

San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Fajardo, who’s in his 12th PBA Finals appearance, showed up big for San Miguel with 19 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal to push the Beermen closer to another championship.

The nine-time PBA champion, though, admitted that it wasn’t easy for him to perform the way he did.

With coach Chito Victolero scrambling his big men rotation to stop the “Kraken,” Fajardo said he still had difficulties getting to his spot in the first half.

“I got stopped. I had a hard time with their defense but our shooters were there as well. They can shoot so the defense inside got loose so I scoured more in the second half,” said an exhausted Fajardo in Filipino.

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“My priority inside is to facilitate and pass the ball. I look for Bennie (Boatwright), I set screens because we have a lot of scorers in the team but it’s a good thing that they passed the ball to me more in the second half where I could score,” he added.

To add to his stellar stat line, Fajardo even sank a couple from beyond the arc.

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But that didn’t surprise Fajardo one bit. After all, Gallent gives him the confidence and the green light to score at will.

“Coach gives me confidence and he lets me shoot. In practice, I train those shots but I don’t do it much in the game because we have a lot of shooters.”

“Baka mawalan sila ng trabaho (Our shooters might lose their jobs now because of me),” Fajardo added in jest.

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Fajardo and the Beermen look to move a win away from the crown on Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum.

TAGS: June Mar Fajardo, PBA Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel Beermen

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