FEWER points hardly matter when you commit fewer turnovers.
June Mar Fajardo had a rough shooting night on offense but lessened his turnovers in San Miguel Beer’s 92-77 win over Magnolia on Sunday night that tied the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at one game apiece.
The four-time reigning MVP dominated Game One with 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 18 rebounds in almost 43 minutes but committed 11 errors as the Beermen lost, 105-103.
But in Game Two, Fajardo scored just 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting and grabbed 13 boards, but turned the ball over just three times in 39 minutes.
“Parang sa’kin, sa sarili ko, kung ‘di dahil sa turnovers ko, siguro naipanalo namin yun (Game One),” Fajardo said after Game Two. “Pero kailangan mag-move on eh. Kailangan matuto kami sa mga mali namin.”
“Wala naman perpekto eh, ‘di mo naman maiiwasan yung turnovers,” he added. “Pero hangga't maaari, kung kaya, i-minimize.”
While Fajardo minimized his turnovers, the Hotshots minimized his production, but that was hardly a factor as the SMB bench, led by Brian Heruela, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, and Billy Mamaril stepped up to account for the Beermen’s 20 bench points – compared to just one measly point in Game One.
“Maganda yung depensa ng kabila,” said Fajardo, who dished out three assists and blocked three shots. “Yun ang binibigay nila sa amin. Yun ang tine-take namin. Okay lang na iba ang umiskor.”
“Credit din sa teammates ko, nag-step up sila, si Brian (Heruela), si Billy (Mamaril). Yung mga pinasok ni coach, nag-step up,” he added. “Sana tuloy-tuloy.”
Still, Fajardo refused to take the Hotshots for granted after they launched another comeback that just fell short this time.
“Wag mag-relax sa game,” Fajardo said. “Di naman sila aabot sa Finals kung basta-basta lang yung kabila eh. Kailangan talaga pag nakalamang, kung pwede idiin pa namin. Pag naka-run sila, baka magtuloy-tuloy. Kanina nga, naka-run sila eh. Buti na-stop namin.”