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    June Mar Fajardo says Magnolia an opponent worthy of respect

    May 13, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    GAME Seven is exactly what June Mar Fajardo expected knowing how driven both San Miguel and Magnolia are to claim the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.

    One is hoping to enter the history books, to post an unprecedented fifth straight title in the all-Filipino conference.

    The other is gunning to stop that, showing that the new guard is ready to take over.

    "Wala nang advantage kasi natalo na nila kami at natalo namin sila. Patas lang ang game," he said, shunning the talks of experience favoring San Miguel's side. "Hindi ko masasabi na advantage ang experience dahil mataas na rin ang experience ng Magnolia. Nag-champion na rin sila."

    The Beermen forced the decider with a 98-86 Game Six win over the Hotshots, with Fajardo once again being the rock with 23 points, 18 rebounds, two assists and two blocks on Sunday.

    The difference, though, is that everyone got their games going for the defending champions led by Marcio Lassiter recapturing his thunder with 20 points on a 3-of-6 shooting from downtown.

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    "Sobrang ganda ng nilaro namin as a team. Yung first half, ang ganda execution namin sa plays dahil ang daming nabakante. Tapos sa defense, maganda rin. Overall, maganda ang laro namin," observed Fajardo as San Miguel shot 42-percent from the field and won the rebounding battle, 53 to 40 against Magnolia.

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      As positive as the result was for the Beermen, Game Six is now a thing of the past.

      And as much as San Miguel has revived its five-peat aspirations, getting that done against Magnolia won't be a walk-in-the-park, something Fajardo is well aware of.

      "Hindi mo pwedeng maliiitin ang Magnolia dahil magaling din sila. Sabi ko nga, hindi ganoon kadaling makuha yung championship kasi hindi nila ibibigay yun. For sure, gusto nilang manalo at gusto nila kaming i-dethrone," said the Cebuano bruiser.

      "Kaya kami, kailangan namin maglaro as a team. Gusto namin kunin yung Game Seven na yan at hindi kami papayag na basta-basta kaming matatalo. Kailangan naming ibigay ang best namin para sa championship."

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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