Fajardo remains focused despite physical semis match

Naveen Ganglani
Fajardo remains focused despite physical semis match
June Mar Fajardo, who is always crowded by multiple defenders, says he must remain focus despite the physicality of the semis match between SMB and TNT

MANILA, Philippines – Reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo said he can’t lose focus over the physical play between the San Miguel Beermen and Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters during their 2014-2015 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series.

Fajardo said in spite of the rough play and constant double and triple teams thrown his way by the Tropang Texters, he has to keep his composure as his team is two wins away from reaching the Philippine Cup finals.

Kailan ko mag-focus sa game… yung physicality hindi ko kailangan pansinin eh,” Fajardo said following his team’s game two win, 87-81, on Sunday, December 21.

Nanduon naman yun eh, hindi naman mawawala, so focus lang.

(I need to focus on the game… I don’t need to get distracted by the physicality. Its always going to be there, so I just need to focus.)

After dominating Talk ‘N Text’s defense in game one for an easy 23 points, Fajardo was hounded by multiple defenders in the paint in game two, where he converted just 2-of-11 from the field.

Maganda depensa nila saakin,” Fajardo said.

(They play good defense against me.)

Fajardo was more assertive in the fourth quarter, where he drew multiple fouls and was clutch from the free throw line, going 8-of-8 down the stretch to seal the win for his club.

Overall, the reigning PBA MVP was 11-of-11 from the line, which is impressive for a big man just in his third year in the league.

Na-shoot lang talaga,” Fajardo said after the game. “Ayun, iniisip ko pag nag mintis, dahilan yun bakit matalo kami, close game eh.

(It just went in. I was just thinking that if I miss, it might be the reason why we lose, since it was a close game.)

Fajardo admitted going to the charity stripe with the game hanging in the balance can be a challenge mentally.

Hindi naman nawawala yung kaba eh. Mini-minimize ko lang. Hindi ko lang masyadong iniisip na mag mimintis ako. Mas iniisip ko na ma-shu-shoot ko.

(The jitters won’t go away. I just try to minimize it. I don’t think about missing. I always think I’m gonna make them.)

It worked on Sunday for Fajardo, who says he spends extra time after practice working on his free throws.

San Miguel has the chance to put a chokehold on their series with TNT by winning game three on Tuesday, December 23.

Despite his strong play so far in the series – where he’s averaging 19 PPG – Fajardo says he will continue to rely on his teammates and won’t hesitate to pass the ball if they’re open.

Team naman kami eh. Alam naman natin na medyo may mag do-double saakin eh. Yung mga teammate ko, may tiwala naman ako.

(We’re a team. They’re going to double-team me. I have trust in my teammates.)

In two games against TNT, Arwind Santos is averaging 15.5 PPG while Alex Cabagnot is putting up 17 PPG, both of whom are providing the adequate support to help Fajardo lead their team to victories.

Fajardo indicated that he also doesn’t expect the physicality between both sides to waver, and that he will have to stay focused to help his team come away with more wins.

Part din yun sa game eh, so hindi mo naman kailangan patulan eh. Kasi mas mawawala ako sa focus.

(The physicality is part of the game, so I don’t need to mind it. I’ll just lose focus if I do.)

Stick lang naman sa plan ni coach, tsaka stick kami sa game plan,” he said about what his team needs to do to win game three.

Go hard lang lagi.

(We just need to stick to the game plan and always go hard.)

– Rappler.com

San Miguel Beer vs Talk ‘N Text PBA PH Cup semifinals:

Game 1: San Miguel crushes Talk ‘N Text in game 1 win
Game 2: Fajardo takes charge late as San Miguel claims 2-0 series lead

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