Pushed outside of his comfort zone, June Mar Fajardo figured other ways to help his team, grabbing offensive rebounds and dishing out assists as San Miguel Beer repelled Rain or Shine, 99-93, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Pinapahirapan nila ako tumanggap sa shaded lane, so decoy muna,” said Fajardo in showing other facets of his game as the Beermen roared back to solo lead in the PBA Philippine Cup with a 5-1 win-loss card.
Though held down to 10 points, the 6-foot-10 behemoth still proved to be a key factor with 16 rebounds, seven dish-offs and three blocks against three turnovers as they handed ROS a fifth straight defeat.
“Set screens muna at kuha ng offensive rebounds, at maganda naman nilaro ng lahat ng mga teammates ko,” said Fajardo, joined by CJ Perez (21 points), Marcio Lassiter (16), Rodney Brondial (16), Jericho Cruz (14) and Simon Enciso (12) in a balanced attack.
“We have a lot of injured players, and I’m happy for the guys, who aren’t seeing much action, na nag-contribute nung nagamit sila,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
“No one is afraid to take the shot. Lahat wanted to contribute,” added Austria, lauding all his guys who exerted efforts to make up for the absence of Moala Tautuaa, Chris Ross, Vic Manuel and Terrence Romeo.
There’s no complaint from the SMB mentor even as they needed to flex their muscles hard to get past the slumping Elasto Painters.