Rodney Brondial pounces on Fajardo absence to provide quality minutes for Star
Rodney Brondial makes the most of his 10 minutes off the bench. Jaime Campos 

RODNEY Brondial pounced on the absence of June Mar Fajardo as the Star reserve big man played quality minutes in the Hotshots’ 104-98 win over San Miguel Beer in their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup on Friday night.

Without the injured Fajardo patrolling the paint for SMB, the 6-foot-5 Brondial made the most of his 10 minutes on the floor as he registered 10 points after making all his four shots from the field, on top of two rebounds and one steal, without a turnover.

“Sabi ni coach, maglaro man siya (Fajardo) o hindi, basta focus lang kami sa game,” Brondial said.

“Siguro pinaghandaan ko rin,” the former Adamson stalwart added. “Nage-extra ako palagi and focused ako and walang negativity.”

[See Big blow for Gilas as Fajardo likely to miss Fiba Asia Cup due to injury]

Brondial delivered when it mattered as he scored six of his points in the payoff period, the last three on a triple from the right corner that gave the Hotshots a 93-81 lead, enough cushion to withstand SMB’s last stand.  

“Kumpiyansa lang talaga yon (three points),” Brondial said. “Kasi yung play namin na yon sabi ni coach pag open ako, tira lang.”

“Siyempre pag binigyan ka ng coach mo as much as possible ayaw mo siyang mapahiya,” he added after repaying the faith of coach Chito Victolero. “So sakin payback lang yon and gusto kong ibalik tiwala niya.”

Victolero welcomed the spark off the bench from Brondial as well as the contribution from the rest of his team.

"It was total team effort for us tonight," he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos