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Fajardo apologetic for burst of emotion in San Miguel's Game 2 win

MANILA, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo cited his intense desire to win after earning a rare technical foul in Game 2 of San Miguel's best-of-5 semifinals series against Alaska on Monday, July 16. 

With his Beermen trailing 21-34 early in the second quarter, the usually mild-mannered Fajardo slammed the ball off the floor right after converting a basket and he found himself slapped with a technical foul. 

He spiked the ball so hard that it bounced higher than the shot clock. 

It was an unusual scene for the reigning 4-time league Most Valuable Player, whose last notable technical foul was in 2014 when he lost his cool against former Rain or Shine Elasto Painter Larry Rodriguez in a playoff series.

Nevertheless, Fajardo was apologetic.

"Nanggigil ako. Sorry. 'Di ko alam, parang nanggigil lang ako. Kasi gusto rin namin manalo tapos down kami. Pero okay na 'yun. Sorry," Fajardo told reporters after the game.

(I had this intense feeling. Sorry. We really wanted to win but we were down. But that's okay. Sorry.)

Fortunately, the Cebuano slotman's act did not go for naught as the Beermen took a commanding lead in the series with a 105-94 triumph over the Aces.

Conspiring with import Renaldo Balkman in the second half, Fajardo helped San Miguel erase a 16-point deficit and move one win from reaching the Commissioner's Cup finals, where they will try to defend their title. 

He was even named Best Player of the Game for submitting stellar numbers of 21 points, 18 rebounds, two steals, and two assists.

With the momentum obviously on their side, Fajardo hopes to close it out in Game 3. 

"Walang madali kasi playoffs na. Kailangan namin maka-start strong kasi ang hirap maghabol 'pag nalamangan ka ng malaki sa first half. Kailangan namin maging ready para sa Game 3," he said. 

(Nothing is easy in the playoffs. We need to start strong because it's hard to play catchup when we're trailing big in the first half. We need to be ready for Game 3.)

"'Di namin afford na mag-relax. Kailangan na namin tapusin, kung maaari."

(We can't afford to relax. We need to finish this in Game 3 if we can.) 

Game 3 is on Wednesday, July 18, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com 

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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