JUNE Mar Fajardo already looked unstoppable despite having to do less work again in San Miguel Beer’s 102-81 triumph over Ginebra in Game Four of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
Yet the reigning MVP hasn’t even used the “secret weapon” that fellow four-time MVP Ramon Fernandez has been telling him to turn to - a shot that will make him even tougher to defend.
Fajardo scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go with 13 boards, one assist, one block, and a steal in over 35 minutes, numbers that he felt are good enough in the eyes of mentor Fernandez.
“Syempre kasi isa siya sa mga mentors ko nung nasa Cebu pa ako,” Fajardo said, before adding he didn’t heed Fernandez’s advice to use the unstoppable hook shot.
“Sabi nga niya mag-hook shot ako pero ‘di na ko naka-attempt,” the 6-foot-10 slotman said. “Lagi niya akong sinasabihan na mag hook shot kasi mahirap i-stop yun.”
“Gusto ko mag-hook shot. Soon mag-hook shot ako,” he added.
As it is, Fajardo already gas enough weapons to befuddle the Gin Kings, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the first period to set the tone for the blowout win that moved the Beermen on the cusp of a fourth straight all-Filipino finals appearance.
“Kailangan eh, kailangan ipanalo game na ‘to, so kailangan ilabas namin, kailangan mag-go hard,” Fajardo said. “Mahirap pag na tie yung series, mas tataas kumpiyansa nila. Buti maganda start namin kasi pag slow start kami mahihirapan kami sa loob.”
The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart scored just four points the rest of the way, but that’s the least of his concerns.
“Wala naman sa ’kin scoring,” Fajardo said. “Mas okay nga yung balanced scoring kasi magkakaron kumpiyansa kasama ko. Mahirap umiskor kasi pagtanggap ko bola, andun na double, ‘di ka basta basta maka-score.”
And he’s hoping for another balanced attack in Game Five on Saturday to finish off the Gin Kings.
“Oo, sana, sana, yun goal para pag natapos na may time kaming mahabang pahinga para sa finals,” Fajardo said. “Pero ‘di naman ganun ka-dali, alam naman natin Ginebra never say die, ‘di naman sila give up na lang.”