JUNE Mar Fajardo will play if the PBA Philippine Cup Finals between San Miguel and Alaska goes to a Game Seven.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria said he promised his players that he will field Fajardo if they can extend the best-of-seven series to a sudden-death match on February 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Before the game, I told them, ‘Give us Game 7 and he will play,’” Austria said, moments after the Beermen defeated Alaska in overtime, 110-104, on Sunday at the Philsports Arena.
The 6-10 Fajardo showed up for Game Four to receive the Best Player of the Conference trophy and support the Beermen in their quest to avoid losing a series via four-game sweep for the first time in the franchise's history.
The San Miguel head coach said Fajardo definitely wants to play but he is the one barring him from seeing action.
“He wants to play but I’m the only one that is preventing him kasi he is the future of the PBA, Philippine basketball, Gilas, San Miguel, and I don’t want to aggravate his injury,” Austria said.
Austria said the ballclub likes the pace of the recovery of Fajardo from a left knee injury he suffered during Game Six of the Beermen's semifinal series against Rain or Shine.
[See Hat-trick of Best Player awards for Fajardo]
Austria is confident Fajardo will be healthy enough to play if a Game Seven comes around.
“After this game, next game is Wednesday. Then, next game is Friday. Then, after that, February 4. Enough time,” said Austria.
Austria said Fajardo will continue to sit for the remaining games before the deciding match.
“We don’t want to disrupt the healing process. Maganda ‘yung progress sa kanyang knee. Nakakalakad na kasi, tatanggap ng BPC,” said Austria.