THE possible absence of June Mar Fajardo will not prevent Calvin Abueva and the rest of Alaska to let their guard down on defense when the Aces take on the San Miguel Beermen in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
The Aces star will now turn their focus instead on SMB’s bevy of wingmen led by Marcio Lassiter starting in Game One on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Kahit wala si June Mar, syempre aayusin pa rin namin,” Abueva said afte practice on Saturday. “Mas dodoblehin pa namin depensa namin sa wingmen nila.”
The Beermen showed another dimension of their game aside from their bread-and-butter post play as they flaunted their guard-oriented attack in Game Six of the semifinals against Rain or Shine on Friday.
And that is stopping Abueva from underestimating the defending champions.
“Hindi pa rin kami papasigurado kasi kahit wala si June Mar, mas aggressive sila ngayon,” The Beast admitted. “Mas (naiikot) nila yung bola. Hindi lang puro post, kaya malaking advantage din nila.”
Abueva, one of those tasked to shadow SMB’s wingmen as the Aces star has been seeing action most of the time at small forward this season, expects an all-out battle in the series opener that tips off at 5 p.m.
“Sa Game One, talagang bakbakan ‘to,” the former NCAA MVP out of San Sebastian said. “Hindi namin iniisip na kulang sila. Basta isipin natin na yung depensa natin, nandun pa rin.”