June 25, 2024

PBA: San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent shrugs off June Mar Fajardo’s offensive struggle in Game 3 win

PBA: San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent shrugs off June Mar Fajardo’s offensive struggle in Game 3 win
San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo finishes with 11 points which is relatively subpar in the seven-time PBA Most Valuable Player's standards. | Photo (c) PBA

As far as offense was concerned, June Mar Fajardo was a non-factor in San Miguel’s 117-107 win over Rain or Shine in Game Three of the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup on Wednesday, May 22.

The seven-time Most Valuable Player just could not conjure his usual magic on the post as he settled for just 11 points on a 9-for-21 shooting from the field.

 Beermen coach Jorge Gallent, speaking to reporters shortly after the win at the Dasmarinas City Arena in Cavite, did not seem concerned.

“June Mar had his shots; he had open shots. It just wasn’t going in. He just has to practice more on that,” Gallent said after San Miguel moved a win away from another finals appearance with its commanding 3-0 lead against the Elasto Painters in their best-of-seven series.


[ALSO READ: Dominant June Mar Fajardo is PBA Player of the Week]

Perhaps the 6-foot-10 behemoth wore himself out after powering the Beermen in their last three playoff victories prior to Wednesday’s match, where he averaged 23.3 points, 14.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks.

Fajardo, after all, also had to extend his defense outside to close out Keith Datu and Beau Belga’s shots from deep.

“Maybe he’s kind of tired. His legs are tired. But he did a great job defending their big guys,” Gallent said.

[RELATED STORY: PBA: June Mar Fajardo admits defensive struggle against three-point sniping Beau Belga]

Rain or Shine makes it hard for San Miguel behemoth June Mar Fajardo to produce his usual numbers in their Game 3 semis battle. | Photo (c) PBA

 Despite his scoring woes, Fajardo made his presence felt in the other departments, logging 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

“June Mar’s effort was there. He has to do a lot of things. He has to score, he has to chase their big men because they shoot a lot of threes and they spread the floor,” said Gallent.

 [WATCH: PBA Player of the Game Highlights: Don Trollano helps hike San Miguel's semis lead to 3-0 vs. Rain or Shine]

Gallent and the Beermen will count on that effort once again when they go for the jugular against Rain or Shine in Game Four on Friday, May 24, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.