HARDLY surprised to see Blackwater put up a fight, June Mar Fajardo brought his A-game to lead San Miguel Beer to a 93-83 win over the Elite on Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Limited to a relatively quiet 13 points on just seven attempts and 10 boards in their loss to Rain or Shine, the SMB star big man came up with 20 points on 11 attempts, 13 boards, two blocks, two assists, and one steal against the Elite.
“Lahat naman ng teams ngayon malakas eh,” Fajardo said. “Hindi kami dapat mag-relax sa game.”
“Hindi naman ganun ka-lakas yung team dati, tapos ngayon nag-improve na talaga sila,” he added of the Elite, whose 1-3 win-loss card seems to belie their true worth after putting up a competitive fight in all their games.
Regular dips in the pool seem to be working for Fajardo, who has been undergoing aqua therapy on the pool inside his condo building every other day as therapy for his recurring plantar fasciitis injury.
But he insists the Beermen remain a work in progress.
“Ganun din kami,” said the reigning league MVP, who committed five turnovers against the Elite. “Kailangan din namin mag-improve.”
It took plenty of help, particularly from Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, and Ronald Tubid, who all played as a unit to fend off the Elite, who stayed within striking distance for most of the match, only to fall short.
“Hindi kami magde-depend lang sa individual talents,” Fajardo said. “Kailangan namin mag-play as a team.”