Turnover-prone Fajardo tips hat to Ian Sangalang, takes blame for SMB collapse
June Mar Fajardo continued to dominate but Ian Sangalang capped his career game with the winning play on the SMB giant. Jerome Ascano

JUNE Mar Fajardo tipped his hat to Ian Sangalang for holding his own against him and leading Magnolia to a 105-103 win over San Miguel Beer in Game One of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 Sangalang, giving up three inches and a lot more weight to the four-time reigning MVP, stood his ground to finish with a career-high 29 points, missing a double-double by just one rebound, and adding two steals, and one assist, while committing only one turnover in almost 39 minutes.

Sangalang capped his performance by faking Fajardo and drawing a foul on the 6-foot-10 giant for the go-ahead free throws with 16 seconds left that – punctuating their comeback from 20 points down.

“Magaling ginawa ni Ian,” Fajardo said. “Nakailang offensive rebounds din siya. Ayun. Talo talaga.”

Fajardo towed the Beermen with 31 points, 18 boards, three blocks, and one assist, but he committed an unacceptable 11 turnovers in 43 minutes to take the blame.

“Dami kasi akong turnovers eh. Sa'kin talaga,” the 28-year-old Cebuano cager said. “Masyado akong nanggigil. Maraming turnovers na na-convert. Bawi ako next game.”

The Hotshots forced the Beermen to 20 errors – compared to just 11 by Magnolia – resulting in 20 turnover points.

Asked if the Beermen underestimated the Hotshots, Fajardo answered negatively, insisting it was their errors that did them in.

“Di naman (in-underestimate),” Fajardo said. “Pero yun nga, yung turnovers namin kasi. Dun sila nakakuha ng momentum. Sayang, sayang. Bawi na lang.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos