Big man June Mar Fajardo has vowed to keep his cool when San Miguel Beer faces arch-nemesis Rain or Shine for the first time since their heated semifinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup.
San Miguel, then known as Petron Blaze, bowed to Rain or Shine, 1-4 in a bruising best-of-seven series that saw sophomore Fajardo get his first technical foul while getting involved in skirmishes against Rain or Shine’s phalanx of rugged big men led by Beau Belga, JR Quinahan and Larry Rodriguez.
They Said It!
“Handa na ako (sa physical plays)." San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo
But the 6’10” sophomore center, named the Philippine Cup best player, said that semifinal series taught him a valuable lesson on how to keep your focus and composure amid the physicality.
“Handa na ako dun (physical plays),” Fajardo told Spin.ph, shortly after the Beermen's practice at the Reyes Gym as they prepare for their much-awaited grudge match against the Elasto Painters on Wednesday.
“Di ko na 'yun papatulan saka di na mauulit yun,” he added.
Fajardo said the PBA brand of play is one of the toughest, considering that there is a certain level of physicality that is allowable during the game.
But the pride of Pinamungahan, Cebu said he’s confident that as long as the Beermen play solid team defense and work well with new import Kevin Jones, they can bounce back with a vengeance against the Elasto Painters.
“Gusto kasi ni coach (Biboy Ravanes) na higpitan lang talaga namin ang defense. Saka siyempre, ako ang last line ng defense,” he said.
Fajardo will be playing just his second game in the import-spiced conference after spraining his left ankle just days before the start of the Commissioner’s Cup.
He debuted with seven points, nine rebounds and six turnovers in just 22 minutes last week, where San Miguel bowed to unbeaten Talk ‘N Text, 107-99.