May 23, 2024

San Miguel out to prove they can win title sans June Mar Fajardo: What to expect

San Miguel out to prove they can win title sans June Mar Fajardo: What to expect
PBA

The San Miguel Beermen will begin their June Mar Fajardo-less title push against the Converge FiberXers, and it will be a tale of two teams going opposite ways. The Beermen are on a five-game winning run, while the FiberXers are on a four-game swoon. Converge is also bringing in a new import, Thomas James Vodanovich, and that can work to their favor or hasten their downfall—even against a team missing its six-time MVP.

Fajardo’s absence and Converge’s import switcheroo are obviously the fascinating subplots to this Converge-San Miguel showdown. So, amidst this backdrop, here are some of the things fans can expect in the other half of today’s twin bill:

San Miguel will spread the wealth again

In San Miguel’s last game, five Beermen finished with at least 20 points. That is impressive stuff, but not surprising given the abundance of talent of Jorge Gallent’s squad. Expect the same equitable distribution of scoring again against Converge. With Fajardo out, it appears San Miguel will be relying more on an avalanche of playmaking from its playmakers, led by Cameron Clark and Cjay Perez.

Converge’s locals will carry the fight

Vodanovich might be good, but in all fairness to him, he is in an impossible situation: a knockout game against one of the best, most talented teams in the PBA. That leaves the onus on the FiberXers’ core to do the heavy lifting—at least in the early going to give the New Zealand native a chance to get his footing. It will be a big challenge for the Converge locals, but Maverick Ahanmisi, Justin Arana, Alec Stockton, and the rest of Aldin Ayo’s crew might just be ready for their moment.

This will be a track meet

Converge likes to get up on defense, quicken the pace, and force the tempo. San Miguel, with its athletes in Perez, Clark, and Simon Enciso, will happily oblige. So, do not be surprised if this matchup turns into a fast-paced, high-octane, high-scoring showdown. It might be the FiberXers’ best hope, actually.

All signs point to San Miguel having the advantage against Converge, especially given the latter’s import situation. But the Beermen cannot get complacent; otherwise, the FiberXers might wake up just in time to send San Miguel to a win-or-go home second game.