Fajardo raring to bounce back from San Miguel's Game 5 loss

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Fajardo raring to bounce back from San Miguel's Game 5 loss
San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo
STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines -- Despite exploding for a new season high on Friday night, San Miguel big man June Mar Fajardo is moving on quickly from the Beermen’s 92-88 loss against the Meralco Bolts.

Fajardo reset his season high on Friday, unleashing 38 points and 18 rebounds on an uber-efficient 14-of-17 field goal shooting.

He also made all 10 of his free throws while also swatting two shots, but it was not enough to tow the defending champions to the pivotal 3-2 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

After the game, the reigning PBA Most Valuable Player focused on getting back on the Bolts and tying the series up.

“It’s okay, we’ll get back next game. As we said, this is a long series. We are not yet out, that’s the good thing,” he told reporters in Filipino.

Fajardo had little help from his teammates, with CJ Perez being the only other San Miguel player who scored in double digits.

Perez finished with 17, but he made just four of his 16 field goal attempts.

No other Beerman had more than six points.

“It is not only CJ who struggled, all of us. As a team, we will win, and we will lose as a team. For sure, we will get back at them next game,” he added.

According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, 15 of the 19 teams in the last 12 years who won Game 5 of the Finals after a 2-all deadlock have gone on to win the title.

And in the last 15 years, San Miguel won three of the four times it was down 2-3.

With history on their side, Fajardo voiced hope that this continues this time around.

“Hopefully, it happens again. We will work harder in the next game because we want to get the championship,” he stressed.

“We will not give it up easily. We will just play San Miguel basketball, that’s what coach is telling us.”

Game 6 of the finals will be on Sunday, 6:15 p.m., at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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