JUNE Mar Fajardo was back to his dominant self on Wednesday night in San Miguel’s 128-108 victory over Phoenix Pulse in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, completing a double-double with his 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Less than a week since the arrival of new import Chris McCullough, Fajardo is clearly reaping the benefits.
Unlike former SMB import Charles Rhodes who plays mostly from in and around the shaded lane, McCullough is a lot more versatile and has wider range which he immediately displayed by scoring 47 points in a debut win over NLEX.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao was the first to say that the import switch will be good for Fajardo, who, he said, stood to get more space as well as open looks inside with McCullough roaming the perimeter.
He was right.
Entering the Phoenix game, Fajardo was averaging 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds for the Beermen and only had a 20-10 game once in his first eight games this conference.
Fajardo agreed that McCollough’s inside-outside game has made life easier for everyone at San Miguel.
“Kasi nasa labas ‘yung laro niya,” said Fajardo, when asked what changed when McCollough was brought to the team. “Nag-create siya ng mismatches sa nagbabantay sa kanya.”
“Malaking bagay ‘yun. Gumaganda ‘yung linalaro niya. Sana tuluy-tuloy,” he said.
After winning two games in a row with McCullough, the Beermen have climbed back to seventh place on a 4-5 (win-loss) record. Fajardo isn't holding back.
“So far, maganda ‘yung tinatakbo ng team namin. Sana tuluy tuloy na kasi kailangan naming mapanalo ‘yung remaining games namin para maganda puwesto namin sa playoffs,” said Fajardo.