LESS is turning out to be more for June Mar Fajardo and San Miguel Beer in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series against Rain or Shine.
The SMB superstar, coming in averaging 36.8 points and 17.5 boards in his first four games, registered series-lows of 27 points and 12 boards in Game Five, yet the Beermen still came away with the 103-94 victory to move on the cusp of advancing to the finals.
However, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao rued that Fajardo’s reduced production has translated into his teammates’ extra contribution.
“When Fajardo was making his thirty-eight, forty points, we were actually winning,” Guiao said. “But now he’s making less, it’s more difficult for us to win the game.”
“That means they’re spreading it out,” he was quick to add. “We can sacrifice siguro Fajardo scoring a bit more, but we can’t sacrifice two or three other guys getting involved on offense.”
Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Arwind Santos provided the most support, leading seven other Beermen who scored at least eight points in Game Five.
“If they make their outside shots and then they have June Mar as a post option, there’s really very little chance of beating them,” Guiao said.
In all, the Beermen shot a solid 51 percent (40-of-78) from the field.
“We need to play better defense,” Guiao said. “That’s (field-goal shooting) just too much.”
“Actually, our offense is not that bad,” he added as his team converted 46 percent of their shots. “We can win with our offense, but we cannot win with our defense.”