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    Fajardo admits he's in a funk as SMB finds self in unfamiliar situation

    Feb 2, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    ANTIPOLO - The numbers may show otherwise, but June Mar Fajardo himself knows that he's on a funk.

    The reigning five-time PBA MVP would be the first to acknowledge that he's far from his usual self after missing a number of gimmes in San Miguel's 98-108 defeat to Rain or Shine - its third in five outings in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.

    "Nag-struggle talaga ako, simula pa lang ng conference na ito," he confessed. "Ako yung parang tinitingnan ng teammates ko kaya kailangan ko silang i-uplift. Pag pangit ang laro ko, malaki yung chance na matalo kami.

    "So kailangan ko talagang bumawi at mag-bounce back."

    Averaging 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds before the game, Fajardo produced more impressive numbers in the absence of Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot with his 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks against the Elastopainters.

    However, that production saw him shoot just 8-of-20 from the field as Rain or Shine fearlessly threw double teams at him whenever he got the rock.

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    It's no surprise, too, that the Beermen's skid coincided with Fajardo's slide, putting them in an unfamiliar situation in an all-Filipino conference that they have won the past four seasons.

    The back-to-back losses was also a first for the Beermen in five Philippine Cups, a slide unheard of for the four-time defending champions.

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    "Yun nga ang sinasabi ni coach. Before, sa start pa lang ng conference pag all-Filipino, nasa taas kami. Ngayon, natalo na kami ng tatlo, 2-3 na kami," rued the 6-10 San Miguel big man.

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      Still, the Cebuano giant remained defiant saying San Miguel has what it takes to get itself back in contention.

      "Hindi pa naman huli ang lahat. Makakabawi pa kami," he said. "Kailangan lang naming ipanalo yung mga remaining games namin. Pero alam namin na hindi ganoong kadali manalo."

      And that also goes for himself.

      "Kailangan ko i-figure out yun," he said. "Again, hindi pa huli ang lahat. Marami pa kaming game na lalaruin. Bounce back lang. Kailangan namin yung positive energy."

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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