FOUR-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo’s size, skills and experience made the biggest difference in San Miguel's 4-1 semifinal series win over Barangay Ginebra to march to its fourth straight PBA Philippine Cup Finals stint Saturday night.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo averaged 20.67 points and 12.67 rebounds to earn the PBA Press Corps Player of Week for the period of March 13-18, keying the Beermen’s victories in Games 4 and 5 to keep their All-Filipino conference four-peat bid alive.
Stung by Ginebra’s 95-87 win in Game 3 last Tuesday, the Cebuano big man finished with a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds as SMB bounced back with a 102-81 win two days later.
San Miguel then finished off Ginebra’s Finals aspirations as the 28-year-old Fajardo barrelled his way in for 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the floor, along with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in 100-94 win in Game 5.
While Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot also dished off excellent performances in San Miguel’s sensational back-to-back wins, Fajardo earned the nod for the weekly citation.
With a league-best 24 PBA titles in tow, San Miguel Beer looks to extend its domination of the Philippine Cup since reigning supreme in the season-opening conference from 2015 to 2017.
The 2017 Philippine Cup conquest, in fact, gave SMB the Perpetual Jun Bernardino trophy.
San Miguel now awaits the winner of the other semifinal series between sister team Magnolia and NLEX. The Hotshots took Game 5 Sunday night, 87-78 to gain the driver’s seat, 3-2.