TNT Katropa’s daunting defense on three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo is obviously taking its toll on the San Miguel Beer center.
But no way will it break the spirit of the league’s most dominant player today.
While frustrations may be slowly setting in within the team, the 27-year-old Cebuano believes San Miguel is very much capable of bouncing back from a 1-2 deficit to TNT in their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal series.
“Siyempre pipilitin naming maka-bounce back,” he said. “Tiwala lang sa team, regroup.”
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo was in foul trouble as early as the midway point of the final period of Game Three Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum that left him ineffective down the stretch in the Tropang Texters’ 98-92 win.
While he logged 30 minutes of play, Fajardo was held to just a single point in the final quarter to finish with 16 points and nine rebounds.
He later admitted being bothered by the Texters’ defensive scheme of putting different players on him, from Kelly Williams, Danny Seigle, Harvey Carey, to seldom-used Frank Golla.
“Medyo masikip yung depensa nila,” he acknowledged. “Isang factor yun.”
Fajardo expects the same situation in Game Four on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, but with the Beermen playing with an even greater sense of urgency now that they’ve lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
“Iba na yung pag naka 3-1 sila,” he admitted. “Mahirap na yun.”