JUNE Mar Fajardo takes solace in the fact that as the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup hits fever pitch, San Miguel is also going back to being full force as Christian Standhardinger played his first game back from a knee injury.
And what better time for that to happen than in the semifinals, as the Beermen easily dispatched the Aces, 92-79, in Game 1 of the best-of-five series on Saturday.
“Syempre masaya kaming nanalo kami. Tapos nakabalik na ulit si Christian so masaya kami,” he said. “Masaya kami kasi kumpleto na kami. Sana healthy kami lagi kasi ayaw naman natin na may mawawala sa team di ba? Basta sa amin, focused kami sa team namin kahit sino ang makalaban namin basta sundin lang namin yung game plan.”
Fajardo led the attack for San Miguel with 17 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and an assist as five other players logged double-digits in scoring in the breezy win to take the 1-0 series edge.
“Syempre malaking bagay itong panalo na ito kasi sabi nga ni coach, pivotal daw yung first game eh,” he said.
But as complete as San Miguel is for the series, the same could not be said for Alaska which is missing Chris Banchero as well as the still-suspended Calvin Abueva.
Despite those absences, though, Fajardo doesn’t expect the Beermen to cruise to a sweep in this series as the Aces won’t go away that easily.
“Alam naman namin na hindi pa tapos yung series. Kailangan pa namin manalo ng dalawa. Kailangan pa namin ipanalo yung next game para mahirapan sila makabawi,” he said. “Alam naman namin kung gaano kahirap yun kasi next game, for sure magba-bounce back sila kaya dapat ready kami.”
The Beermen shoot for a commanding 2-0 lead in Game 2, slated on Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.