GLOBALPORT coach Franz Pumaren lamented that his team failed to take advantage of June Mar Fajardo’s limited presence on Friday night as it surrendered a 115-112 decision in their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup.
Pumaren was even hardly surprised that Fajardo would play less than eight minutes to give more time for his right calf injury to heal, expecting the Beermen to turn to their other stars in filling the void.
“We expected that (limited minutes) because he was coming in from injury and he’s not forced to play,” Pumaren said of Fajardo who still contributed four points and one rebound.
Still, the Batang Pier failed to pounce after seeing Arwind Santos take the cudgels, connecting from long distance with eight triples on the way to 30 points as he conspired with import Wendell McKines, who stuffed the stats sheet anew with 35 markers, 14 boards, seven assists, four blocks, and two steals in almost 45 minutes.
The frontline duo also had plenty of help from guards Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter as well as Chris Ross, who went scoreless, but filled the other departments with seven assists, six steals, two boards, and one block in 39 minutes.
“It shows you why they are the defending champions the last many conferences,” Pumaren said. “They’re such a cohesive team, they’ve been together the longest time and just putting in new guys.”
The Batang Pier, though, mounted on a late run that saw them come to within two points, 114-112, after a Stanley Pringle free throw, only to make unforced errors in the ensuing plays as the failed to sustain their early gains.