by Waylon Galvez
For the San Miguel Beermen, dropping game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals to the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok may do them some good.
That is how SMB’s June Mar Fajardo looks at it following Magnolia’s stunning 99-94 win. It put to waste the Kraken’s stellar performance where he fired 35 points with 21 rebounds.
“Ok lang yun,” said Fajardo after the game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Good thing best-of-seven, marami pa kami time na mag-adjust, mag-bounce back next game,” added the league’s reigning five-time Most Valuable Player who played nearly 40 minutes of action.
Fajardo converted 11-of-17 (64-percent) from the field but as a team, San Miguel went 32-of-85 for 37-percent. This pales in comparison to the 43-of-93 shooting (46-percent) of Magnolia.
Fajardo got little help from teammates with Alex Cabagnot (18 points), former MVP Arwind Santos (13 points) and backup guard Von Pessumal (11 points) the only ones finishing in double digits.
Chris Ross scored just five points, Terrence Romeo – in his first finals stint after joining San Miguel in a trade with TNT KaTropa prior to the season – had eight, and Marcio Lassiter went scoreless.
The veteran center said that while they are disappointed about the setback, the entire team must move on from that experience and focus on Game 2 set for Friday also at the Big Dome.
“Siyempre nakaka-frustrate, sino ba naman matutuwa na talo kami,” said Fajardo.
“Pero sabi nga ni coach, “it’s a thing of the past” so kailangan lang mag-bounce back kami.”
Reigning five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo on his 35-point production in a 99-94 loss of @SMBeermenTeam to @M_Hotshots in Game 1 of the @pbaconnect Philippine Cup finals series @mbsportsonline pic.twitter.com/PfDG96Py9Y
— Waylon Galvez (@batangBOYAA) May 1, 2019
“Kailangan namin maging positive. Medyo pangit yung naging laro pero up lang sila ng five (points),” ended Fajardo.