IF there's one instance when San Miguel Beer hopes first impressions don’t last, it's in the case of new import Terik Bridgeman.
The new Beermen import failed to live up to expectations in his debut on Saturday when he contributed a measly two points on just four attempts, grabbed just six boards, and committed six turnovers in 22 minutes as SMB bowed to Alaska, 79-90, in Pampanga.
Bridgeman came in to replace workhorse Wendell McKines to supposedly be a better fit to the Beermen and a better complement to June Mar Fajardo, yet it wasn’t evident in their first game playing together.
Still, Fajardo is keeping his faith on his new frontcourt partner as they anchor the low block again on Wednesday night against Rain or Shine.
“Siguro naninibago si Terik sa team tapos hindi pa niya alam masyado yung mga plays,” Fajardo said in a text message on the eve of the 7 p.m. matchup. “Pero siguro makukuha na niya next game yon.”
Fajardo, recovering from a calf injury, insisted he was also far from top shape as he registered 12 points on 6-of-14 shooting, 14 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and three steals, against three turnovers in over 40 minutes against the Aces.
“Lahat kami dismayado nung last game namin eh.” the reigning MVP said. “Nag-struggle talaga kami sa opensa namin, lalo na ako, ‘di ko pa nakuha yung rhythm ko ulit.”
Still, it was an individual improvement as Fajardo scored in double digits for the first time in three games and played his most minutes this conference.
And Fajardo is also hoping to see the Beermen improve as a unit, although he’s hardly alarmed of the teams’ back-to-back losses - that has happened for only the second time this season, dropping them to an even 3-3 win-loss record.
“Babawi kami,” the Cebuano pride said. “Ilang beses na kaming nasa ganitong posisyon before pero nalagpasan namin yong ganitong struggle, so kaya namin lagpasan ulit ‘to, basta tiwala lang sa team at sa isa’t-isa.”