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    Fajardo double-double in vain as SMB big man rues missed free throws

    Apr 22, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    IF June Mar Fajardo thought Phoenix's defense on him was air-tight in the first two games of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, a total lockdown awaited the San Miguel star center in Game Three on Sunday.

    Even just receiving the ball became a chore for the reigning five-time PBA MVP, with the Fuel Masters big men of coach Louie Alas intent on shutting down the Cebuano giant.

    "Expected na yun, na magiging physical pa sila lalo. Credit sa Phoenix din dahil maganda ang nilaro nila," he said on the heels of San Miguel's 92-90 defeat to Phoenix.

    The cream still rose to the top, though, as Fajardo was still able to collect 22 points, 19 rebounds, and two blocked shots.

    However, he believes that the game, and his performance, could've had a different outcome had he and the Beermen made more free throws.

    "Ang dami naming namintis na free throw. Importante yung mga free throws kasi kung na-shoot lang namin yung mga namintis namin kanina, panalo sana kami," he said.

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    Fajardo shot 8-of-13 from the free throw line, while San Miguel collectively went 22-of-39, a poor 56-percent clip from the 15-foot line.

    "Kung na-shoot sana namin yung kalahati ng mga mintis namin, nakalamang at panalo sana kami," he rued.

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      But the soft-spoken behemoth knows better than cry over spilled milk as he turns his attention to Game Four on Tuesday at Cuneta Astrodome. The Beermen still lead the series, two games to one.

      "Syempre magba-bounce back kami. Hindi naman namin in-expect na masu-sweep namin yung team na yun eh," he said.

      "Di na namin maibabalik yun. Lumipas na yun, kailangang mag-move on. Ganoon talaga ang buhay. Bawi na lang next game."

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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