June Mar Fajardo shrugs off playing extensive minutes in no-bearing game against TNT
June Mar Fajardo didn't mind playing more than 38 minutes, over his average, in a no-bearing game against TNT. Jaime Campos

ANTIPOLO – With the top seed and twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals already secured, San Miguel had the luxury of limiting June Mar Fajardo's minutes in their final game of the elimination round in the PBA Philippine Cup against TNT Katropa.

Instead, the Beermen played the three-time reigning MVP, averaging 34.6 minutes coming into the game, for 38 minutes and 21 seconds in the 98-94 win over the Texters. But spoken like a true professional, Fajardo didn't mind playing extensive minutes anew, especially since he was instrumental late in fending off a TNT comeback.

"Professional kami eh, so kailangan lang talaga magpa-condition para sa playoffs,” said Fajardo, who came through with four straight points down low that tied the game and set the stage for Alex Cabagnot's go-ahead triple. 

"Kailangan na namin manalo eh, kailangan yung winning habit namin dapat nandun kapag playoffs,” he added.

[See Clutch Cabagnot lifts SMB past TNT]

The 6-foot-10 slotman, who finished with 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting, 22 boards, three blocks, and two assists, against four turnovers, believes the Beermen still have to work on their defense even after already limiting the Texters to 41-percent shooting from the field.

“Yung depensa pa namin kailangan pa i-improve, iba na yung game doon (sa playoffs) kaysa dito,” Fajardo said.

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