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    Defense the name of game for Meralco unlikely hero Raymar Jose

    Aug 5, 2022
    Raymar Jose Meralco SMB
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    RAYMAR Jose has a lot to celebrate about as he turns 30 on Saturday.

    Jose became the unlikely hero of Meralco on the eve of his birthday as he poured in 13 points in the Bolts’ 99-88 win over San Miguel in Game Two of their 2022 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal playoff.

    His scoring production and help in the multi-player job of containing SMB big man June Mar Fajardo enabled Meralco to tie the semifinal series at 1-1 and keep itself in contention for a second straight trip to the PBA Finals.

    [See Jose the unlikely hero as Meralco evens series]

    While he is happy that he was able to score, Jose said the main focus is on defending San Miguel big man Fajardo.

    “Always ready lang kami lalo na sa mga bigs. ‘Yung trabaho namin, kailangan naming ma-stop si June Mar at ma-limit siya," he said. "Bonus na lang ‘yung score namin at ‘yung mga nakukuha namin. Focus lang kami sa depensa.”

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    Meralco coach Norman Black said Jose's offensive production was huge considering that he also had to guard Fajardo during the game.

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      “It was really big. The entire conference, Toto has been really big for us. I invested playing him at the beginning of the conference. And it’s really paying off right now. He is an energizer bunny.

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      "He is always out there all the time, moving and very active on the floor, doesn’t back down from anybody,” Black added. “He helps us a great deal defensively. But today, he gave us a lift on the offensive end.”

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      Jose had 10 points in the fourth alone, including a three that sparked the game-changing run for the Bolts. The former FEU standout said there is no point hesitating from taking those outside shots.

      “Para sa akin, open eh. Iniisip ko, pina-practice ko naman araw-araw ‘yan eh. Nagsu-shooting naman kami everyday, nage-extra work naman kami sa shooting. Sabi ko, libre eh. Ibinibigay nila. Eh ‘di tinira ko,” said Jose.

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      PHOTO: PBA Images
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