Leo Austria glad to for once have the luxury of resting Fajardo ahead of Seaba
June Mar Fajardo played just nine minutes and sat out the entire second half against Mahindra, going scoreless in a game for only the second time in his PBA career. Jaime Campos

JUNE Mar Fajardo enjoyed his extended rest on Wednesday night as San Miguel Beer coasted to a 109-80 victory over Mahindra in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup.

The three-time reigning MVP, who averaged 35.4 minutes last conferences, played less than nine minutes and sat out the entire second half on Wednesday as the Beermen maintained a commanding lead throughout the game.

“Malaking bagay ‘to para sakin,” Fajardo said as he also juggles his team with Gilas Pilipinas.

Seeing limited action, though, caused the 6-foot-10 slotman to go scoreless for the first time in four years – and just the second time in his career.

But he doesn’t mind as Alex Cabagnot and Co. picked up the slack in leading the Beermen to their fourth straight win.

“Panalo (naman) eh,” Fajardo said. “Malakas yung teammates ko eh, so kaya naming manalo.”

[See Fajardo gets plenty of rest as SMB breezes past Mahindra]

SMB coach Leo Austria was relieved to have the luxury of resting Fajardo for once after constantly being criticized for relying too much on Fajardo and his other starters.

“Si June Mar kailangan namin i-rest, medyo bugbog siya,” Austria said. “Alam naman natin the past few conferences ay talagang bugbog siya. Ngayon nagkaroon siya ng opportunity na magpahinga.”

“He's been practicing with us and with Gilas so we want to prepare him for bigger games, especially dito sa Seaba, kailangan paghandaan niya,” he added. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos