ALASKA coach Alex Compton stressed his team is not about to baby June Mar Fajardo when the Aces again seek to finish off the Beermen in Game Six of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The SMB and national team star made his debut in the ongoing all-Filipino finals in Game Five on Wednesday after hurting his left knee in a Final Four game against Rain or Shine.
“I’m happy for them and I’m happy for Gilas,” Compton said. “You never want to see anybody get hurt, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to be soft (on him).”
“I’m a Gilas coach, but I’m not going to say, ‘Don’t seal June Mar or don’t box him out,’ because we want to take care of him,” Tab Baldwin’s deputy in the national team added.
The Aces seemed to have a feel-out stage with Fajardo when the reigning league MVP entered in the second quarter on Wednesday, sagging on him and allowing him to take and make his usual mid-range jumpers.
But it appears Alaska will lock down on the fit-again Cebuano slotman in Game Six that tips off at 7 p.m.
“We got to play basketball,” Compton said. “So our guys are going to play hard. We teach them to seal hard.”
On offense, the American mentor is hoping the Aces knock down their usual attempts that they missed in overtime of Game Five.
“Hopefully we make some shots that we didn’t make,” Compton said. “We got to do a better job in making those open looks.