June Mar Fajardo admits going against doctor’s advice in Finals Game 5

June Mar Fajardo understood the significance of winning Game 5 of the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup Finals for San Miguel.

Despite medical advice, the seven-time league MVP played a crucial role in the Beermen’s 108-98 victory over Magnolia, bringing them close to clinching the championship.

Despite a sore calf, Fajardo contributed 18 points and 15 rebounds, proving vital as San Miguel avoided a third consecutive loss to take a 3-2 series lead on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Fajardo acknowledged Coach Jorge Gallent’s statement during the post-game press conference that he had been advised to rest for the game.

“Gusto ko talagang maglaro eh. Kasi kung hindi ako maglaro today, magre-rest din naman (next two days) so might as well maglaro na lang ako,” explained Fajardo.

When asked about the doctors’ advice, the 34-year-old Cebuano responded with a mischievous smile.

“Advice lang. Basta kailangan akong maglaro. Gusto ko ring maglaro. Kailangan namin mag-bounce back, kailangan naming manalo. Sayang yung opportunity,” said Fajardo.

The SMB main man, however, did not play his usual 40-plus minutes per game and only saw action for 35 as he was experiencing left calf tightening.

In Game 5, Jericho Cruz, import Bennie Boatwright, and Simon Enciso carried most of the load for the Beermen.

“Pulut-pulot lang ako dun. Yung mga teammates ko talaga ang gumawa,” said Fajardo who gave extra credit to Jericho Cruz who delivered a 30-point performance highlighted by 8-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc.

Fajardo mentioned that he plans to rest for two days to ensure readiness for Game 6 on Wednesday at the Big Dome.

“May pahinga naman ng two days. So gagamitin ko yun ng maayos. Malaking bagay yun.”

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