JUNE Mar Fajardo is shouldering the burden for San Miguel’s 87-83 Game 5 defeat to Ginebra in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Sunday.
The soft-spoken center scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but blamed himself for the defeat after missing a pair of freebies in the final minute which could have changed the course of the game.
“Nakaka-frustrate,” he sighed. “Nag-mintis pa ako ng dalawa sa free throw. Sayang. Dahil doon, kung nai-shoot ko siguro, mag-iiba siguro ang storya. Pero namintis ko. Akin yun.”
Fajardo’s pair of foul shot boo-boos failed to pad the Beermen’s 83-82 lead with 56.6 seconds and kept the window wide open for the Gin Kings, which Scottie Thompson willingly exploited to lift his side to the victory and a 3-2 series edge.
“Syempre kung naipasok ko yun at nanalo kami, mag-iiba ang storya. Ngayon talo kami. Sa akin yun,” said the four-time PBA MVP, taking full responsibility for the loss.
Fajardo knows that those waning moments will endlessly play on his mind as he and the rest of the Beermen try to regroup from this sorry defeat.
But he knows that San Miguel doesn’t have much time with a do-or-die Game Six scheduled on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Kailangan namin mag-regroup, magpahinga para makabawi sa next game,” he said as the Beermen are in a must-win situation in the Finals for the first time since falling 0-3 to Alaska in the 2016 Philippine Cup.
“Mahirap, pero nandito na kami sa ganitong sitwasyon before, so siguro kaya naman namin gawin ulit yun. Mahirap, pero kailangan talaga ibigay namin yung pinaka-best namin. All-out talaga.”