JUNE Mar Fajardo insisted he wasn’t trying to make a statement against Pierre Henderson-Niles in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals against Rain or Shine on Sunday night.
The reigning league MVP showed he was nearly back to top form as he registered 23 points on 11-of-19 shooting, 13 boards, three assists, two blocks, and two steals in 37 minutes a day after Henderson-Niles labeled Greg Slaughter as “soft” following their quarterfinal matchup.
“Pag tinawag mo yung isang tao ng soft, hindi ka naman lalakas nun eh,” Fajardo said.
Asked if his performance was his response to Henderson-Niles, the SMB superstar said he was simply trying to win for his team.
“Basta ako, gusto ko manalo eh,” Fajardo said. “Hindi naman one-on-one yan eh; five-on-five yan.”
Disappointed after the loss, Fajardo admitted the Beermen fell complacent after establishing an early 29-11 cushion in the first quarter.
“Parang medyo nag-relax kami kasi nakalamang kami ng eighteen,” the Cebuano slotman said, adding they still had a chance in the endgame if not for their miscues.
“Yung last minute, dun nagka(talo)…yung mga lapses namin,” he said. “Bounce back na lang. Kailangan lang talaga namin sundin yung game plan ni coach.”