No Holy Week break for Fajardo, Beermen after Hotshots push them to the limit
June Mar Fajardo is foregoing his annual Holy Week sabbatical to Cebu with still a lot of work ahead for San Miguel in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Magnolia.
“Not yet. We have work to do here,” he said in Filipino after the Beermen knotted the best-of-seven series with a 92-77 Game 2 win over the Hotshots on Sunday.
Coming off a 31-point, 18-rebound showing in Game 1, Fajardo took a back seat this time and chipped in 12 markers, 13 boards, three assists, and three blocks.
But as always, his numbers are the least of the Cebuano giant’s concerns as he was just happy to have shared the wealth to his teammates in the triumph.
The 28-year-old slotman noted that Magnolia’s 104-102 shock win in Game 1 became a “wake up call” as it reminded San Miguel that nothing comes easy when it comes to the championship dance.
“We know we could win if we follow our gameplan. We also give credit to them because they also had a good gameplan,” he said.
“For us, we learned that we couldn’t relax. They won’t be here in the Finals if they’re an easy team to beat. So what we need is when we get a big lead, we need to continue pouncing on them,” he said.
This time, San Miguel was able to preserve its lead despite Magnolia cutting what was once a 21-point lead down to just seven, 75-68, early in the fourth canto, answering with a 10-0 salvo to restore order, 85-68, with only five minutes remaining in the game.
Fajardo now shifts his focus on the Beermen’s preparations for Game 3, slated next Sunday as the series goes on a virtual best-of-five.
“We need to use this break wisely and practice as hard as we could. We can’t think of it as a vacation. Again, we need to use this so that we’ll be ready for Game 3,” he said.
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