Reavis keeps focus on tough task of holding down Fajardo amid online furor on stepping violation
Rafi Reavis chipped in on offense but kept his focus on his defensive assignment against June Mar Fajardo. Jerome Ascano

RAFI Reavis escaped what would’ve been a crucial violation in Game One, but he has no choice but to continue facing head on the freight train that is June Mar Fajardo in Game Two of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals between Magnolia and San Miguel Beer on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The 40-year-old Reavis, who the refs didn’t see step out of bounds when he called for a timeout with six seconds left in their 105-103 win, conceded to the dominance to Fajardo, who pumped in 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 18 rebounds in almost 43 minutes but fell short of a “W.”

“It's a task, he's huge,” Reavis said. “He's not only big, he's gonna push you too. There's only so much you can do. He's a monster down there, we know that.

“We know we have our work cut out,” he added. “We're just trying to give him a little work to do also. We don't want it to be all fun and games for him.”

Although he couldn’t handle Fajardo by his lonesome, Reavis took turns with Ian Sangalang, Kyle Pascual, and sometimes even Aldrech Ramos, to at least make it tough for Fajardo, who wound up committing 11 turnovers.

"We just stuck to our principle, which is defense,” the 6-foot-8 Reavis said. “We never stop playing defense until the last second of the game. Whether they're up 10 and we're down 10, we just have to stick to what we know best and that's defense. I think that's what pulled us through.”

Reavis, who finished with six points after making all his three shots, nine boards, and three blocks, without a turnover in 26 minutes as a starter, is hoping the Hotshots frontcourt can keep holding the fort the rest of the way without the injured Marc Pingris.

“No matter who's there or who's not there, we have a saying that it's just the next man up,” the 10-time champion Reavis said. “Ping is a big part of our organization, he's a big part of what we do here, but that's wy we have other guys in uniform ready to perform the task.”

“It's a big weight on our shoulders, but going into the season we knew that anything could happen. We accept the challenge no matter what,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos