Thompson gets Fajardo, SMB’s attention

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09:15 PM February 28th, 2017

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By: Randolph B. Leongson, February 28th, 2017 09:15 PM
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Scottie Thompson’s scintillating near triple-double performance on Sunday definitely didn’t go unnoticed.

After seeing Thompson rack up jaw-dropping numbers of 18 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists in the Gin Kings’ 124-118 overtime Game 2 victory, San Miguel Beermen center June Mar Fajardo thinks their main focus for the rest of the series will have to be keeping an eye where Thompson is at all times.

“We really have to gang rebound and be aware where Scottie is so he can’t rebound,” said San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo in Filipino. “We know how sneaky he is when it comes to rebounding, so we have to box him out.”

Fajardo, the three-time PBA MVP, was saddled by foul trouble in Game 2, finishing with only 10 points and seven rebounds.

The absence of the Beermen behemoth in the paint aided Thompson’s huge rebounding output, while also giving the Gin Kings a slight edge in the boards, 58-52.

But for Chris Ross, the only statistic he’s looking at are the wins and losses.

“Scottie got 18 rebounds, that’s what he does, that’s what he brings to the table. He can get 30 [rebounds] all he wants, he can get all the rebounds all he wants as long as we win. He can get 30-30-30 game as long as we win. I don’t care about stats,” Ross said.

“The main thing is we get the win at the end and to get four wins before the other team gets to four wins.”

Part of Ginebra’s game plan is to tire San Miguel out. But Ross begs to disagree, reiterating that San Miguel has what it takes to keep up with the fast-paced Gin Kings.

“We’re not tired at all,” he said. “They’re looking at the wrong direction. We’re not going to get tired. We only got a maximum of five games left, so we’re not going to get tired. Their guys play heavy minutes, too, so fatigue is not going to be a factor.”

“We’re professionals and that’s what we’re paid to do. If coach wants us to play there for 48 minutes, we’ll do that and we’ll be ready for that. But again, if they want to tire us, they’re looking at the wrong direction.”

Ross, though, admitted that Thompson’s huge performance left a bad taste on the Beermen’s mouths, with the SMB backcourt challenged to do a better job in defending the former Perpetual star.

“We have to find a way to limit the other things that he doesn’t do so well. We’ll be ready for him, the same way we do with the rest of their guys,” he said.

Game 3 is on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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