JUNE Mar Fajardo insisted his poor production in Game Six of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals was not the root of San Miguel Beer's collapse, noting that it’s the entire team that needs to bring its A-game against Alaska in the deciding match on Wednesday.
The SMB star slotman mustered only nine points, making only two of his seven shots, although he converted all but one of his six free throws, and collected 13 boards, three blocks, and two assists in 35 minutes.
Still, it was the first time Fajardo failed to score in double digits this conference, a new low since producing just 10 markers in a loss to — you guessed it — Alaska in the elimination round in early November.
The reigning league MVP, who came in averaging 14.4 points in the first five games of the series, said it was not an occurrence to be worried about.
“Hindi naman kailangan na mag-score ako malaki every game eh,” he said. “May time naman talaga na low scoring ka eh. So sana bounce back na lang kami.”
But after being limited to a conference low at this crucial juncture of the tournament, the young Fajardo believes he needs to set a better example to his teammates.
“Ako yung kailangan mag-set para sa team eh,” the 25-year-old big man said.
[See Marcio Lassiter keeps faith in SMB coach Austria despite odd decisions in Game Six loss]
The Beermen, though, have to earn everything to finally end their title drought.
“Hindi naman nila (Aces) ibibigay 'yun. Kailangan kunin namin,” Fajardo stressed. “Gagawin namin lahat ng makakakaya naming. Do-or-die na eh.”