THERE’S nothing like having a healthy and robust June Mar Fajardo back in San Miguel Beer’s roster.
The expected return of the six-time MVP for the PBA’s Season 46 is definitely a great news to welcome 2021 as far as Marcio Lassiter is concerned as the Beermen are expected to have their sight at regaining the Philippine Cup championship which they lost inside the league bubble last year.
Lassiter admitted the team missed a ‘big piece of our championship puzzle’ last season when Fajardo was out for the entire all-Filipino conference after undergoing surgery for his shin injury.
“He (June Mar) allows us to play our style of play,” said the 33-year-old Fil-Am forward of his prized teammate. “We’re looking forward to have him back so we can play the roles that we know we can play."
SMC Sports Director Alfrancis Chua disclosed over the weekend about the 6-foot-9 Fajardo finally getting the go-signal from renowned ortophedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas to play for San Miguel once the new season kicks off in early April.
Without the injured Fajardo, the five-time champion Beermen failed to defend their most precious possession, and only reached the quarterfinals of the Philippine Cup bubble before being booted out by the Meralco Bolts.
Injuries to key players, including Terrence Romeo who exited the bubble after suffering a dislocated shoulder, hurt San Miguel’s campaign to extend its reign to a record sixth straight all-Filipino championship.
But more than that, Lassiter said the Beermen failed to immediately adjust in Fajardo’s absence given the limited time they prepared heading to the restart of the season.
“We weren’t allowed to play much time without him,” he said. “There were things we have to adjust for.”
With things expected to get back to normal for San Miguel upon Fajardo and even Romeo's return to the lineup, Lassiter sees the Beermen becoming the dreaded team everybody has known before.
“I know it’s going to be a different conference for us. We got a few guys coming back from injuries and it’s going to be great having them back,” he said.
“And (we’ll) play the San Miguel Beermen way as we’ve done before.”
For more PBA updates, click here.