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    Fajardo says banging against big guys like Stepheson toughen him up for Gilas return

    Apr 2, 2017
    June Mar Fajardo makes quite an impression on import Alex Stephneson. Jerome Ascano

    JUNE Mar Fajardo has impressed a lot of people, teammates and foes alike, with his constant improvement down low.

    Add Meralco import Alex Stepheson to that list.

    The three-time PBA MVP definitely got the attention of the 6-10 Stepheson after the two giants battled down low in San Miguel's 99-92 win over Meralco on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Fajardo scored 24 points, 12 boards and had two blocked shots in the conference debut of the reigning Philippine Cup champions - a performance that earned him praise from the former USC Trojan.

    "Big dog is good. Real skilled, man, real patient in the post. He really knows what he's doing down there, he doesn't waste a lot of energy down there, he's very efficient," said Stepheson, who finished with 21 points and 26 boards in Meralco's first loss of the conference.

    "I was excited to play with him today."

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    Fajardo said banging with big guys like Stepheson will go a long way as he prepares for another stint with Gilas Pilipinas, both in the Seaba championship and the Fiba-Asia wars.

    "Malaking tulong yun para sa akin at sa amin ni Japeth (Aguilar) kasi kami ang big man sa Gilas," Fajardo said. "Syempre mahirap. Ang laki, ang bigat. Pero team game ito eh, kailangan namin maglaro as a team. Di naman individual ito eh."

    Fajardo also had some good words for his import Charles Rhodes, who was efficient in his debut with 22 points on just 14 shots.

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    "Di sya naghahanap ng score. Pag kailangan umiskor, umiiskor sya. Malakas sa rebound at depensa. Fit sya sa amin. Tutulungan lang namin sya mag-adjust at the same time, tutulungan nya kami."

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    June Mar Fajardo makes quite an impression on import Alex Stephneson. Jerome Ascano
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