By: Camille Naredo
San Miguel slotman June Mar Fajardo called on the Beermen to regroup quickly following a disappointing 124-118 overtime loss to Ginebra in Game 2 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals last Sunday in Lucena.
The league’s three-time reigning MVP struggled to make an impact due to foul trouble, and had only 10 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. He fouled out with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter, just as San Miguel was in the middle of a comeback.
“Basta natalo kami ngayon. Kaya kailangan namin mag-regroup para sa next game,” said Fajardo, whose lowest scoring performance in the eliminations also came against Ginebra – nine points last January 8.
“May mga lapses… Kailangan namin mag-regroup talaga,” he stressed. “Masakit sa amin ‘yung pagkatalo, kasi ang laki ng hinabol namin.”
“Malaking challenge sa amin na galingan next game.”
Fajardo had already incurred four fouls in the first half, and without their number one option, the Beermen struggled to put points on the board while also having trouble defending Ginebra’s onslaught, especially in the second frame.
However, Fajardo refused to pin any blame on his foul woes, saying: “Siguro, medyo hindi namin in-expect ‘yung fouls, pero kailangan namin mag-adjust.”
There were some positive takeaways from the loss, however. Fajardo is immensely proud of how his teammates were able to battle past his foul trouble and Marcio Lassiter’s ejection in the third quarter, to the point where they nearly stole the victory.
“Sobrang proud ako sa teammates ko,” said the gentle giant. “Pinakita nila ‘yung character ng San Miguel.”
“Pinakita ng mga teammates ko na kahit wala kami, nag-step up sila,” Fajardo added. “Si Kuya Gabby (Espinas), nag-step up, si Arwind (Santos), si Chris Ross, si Alex (Cabagnot), si Ronald (Tubid) – ang ganda ng pinakita nila.”
It saddens him that his teammates’ efforts were for naught, however.
“Sobrang proud kami sa teammates namin,” said Fajardo. “Unfortunate na natalo kami. Kailangan lang namin mag-regroup.”
Source: ABS-CBN Sports