SAN Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone isn’t too concerned with Petron rookie center June Mar Fajardo, saying the Mixers have the size and depth to contain the Boosters freshman when the PBA Governors Cup Finals series begins on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Rookie slotman Fajardo’s dominating performance powered the Boosters to a 3-1 semifinal series win that dethroned Rain or Shine, but Cone is unfazed.
“We’re a little bigger than Rain or Shine so we should be able to contain him (Fajardo) more,” said Cone on Tuesday just before the start of the Governors Cup pre-Finals press conference at Sambokojin in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.
The 55-year-old Cone, who is chasing his 15th PBA title as a coach that would tie him with legendary coach Virgilio 'Baby' Dalupan, sees Yancy de Ocampo and Rafi Reavis as two of his best big men who could slow down the Smart Gilas mainstay.
“He’ll (Fajardo) still get his numbers and stuff but we have Yancy who we kind of held back in the last series (against Meralco) because of some back problems and knee problem, but now he’s 100 percent,” he said.
“Yancy’s also got the size and body to bang with June Mar. We’ll see more action from Yancy and Rafi (Reavis) as well. He’s long so we got some guys who can compete with him on a one on one basis,” added the San Mig mentor.
The 6’10” Fajardo showed his vastly improved play in the Boosters’ series against the undersized E-Painters frontline after averaging career-highs of 14.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 60 percent shooting from the field.
The Mixers fell, 83-89, to the Boosters during their lone elimination round match-up — Petron has won 11 of its last 12 games this conference — but Cone believes they can find ways to stop the Boosters.
“There hasn’t been much that has bothered Petron so far. They are on the roll, we’ve got to figure out some things that can get them out of their comfort zone. And that’s gonna be the key for us because if they play comfortable, they’ll finish the series,” said Cone.