JUNE Mar Fajardo wasn't surprised with the way KIA played against San Miguel that saw him notch his second career-best scoring output and help the Beermen pull off a 118-112 win in the PBA Governors Cup Saturday.
A decent crowd which braved the traffic jam on the way to the Mall of Asia Arena witnessed Fajardo pour in 41 points and grab 17 rebounds in the comeback win that formally clinched for the team a berth in the quarterfinals.
The three-time league MVP exploded for 20 points in the payoff period when he teamed up with Chris Ross and Arwind Santos in avoiding the Picanto's upset ax.
Fajardo's 41 points is just two shy of his career-high 43 scored against Alaska.
The Beermen trailed by as many as 67-56 in the third quarter before coming alive in the final period.
"Down kami and kailangan naming manalo," said Fajardo, who anchored the Beermen's comeback behind an all-Filipino unit employed by coach Leo Austria in the fourth period.
"Expected na namin yun (KIA performance). Kasi yung mga previous games nila maganda ang nilalaro nila. Kadalasan sa endgame lang sila natatalo," said the 6-foot-11 Fajardo of the winless Picanto (0-10).
Austria agreed with his superstar player.
"They have nothing to lose but everything to gain," stressed the San Miguel coach.
His offensive explosion also meant Fajardo has recuperated well from the calf injury that bothered him early in the season-ending meet.
"Kailangan lang talaga ng stretching at tsaka ice after every game," said the center out of Cebu, apologetic that he took a long time to get out of the San Miguel dugout as the team therapist attended to him after the game.