PBA Philippine Cup

‘Not the end of the world’: Fajardo tips hat to Meralco as San Miguel falls short of title repeat

Delfin Dioquino

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‘Not the end of the world’: Fajardo tips hat to Meralco as San Miguel falls short of title repeat

KRAKEN. June Mar Fajardo in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

June Mar Fajardo says life goes on for San Miguel even as the Beermen lose in the PBA Philippine Cup finals for the first time since they drafted the seven-time MVP

MANILA, Philippines – The reality is that June Mar Fajardo and mighty San Miguel will not always be on top.

The seven-time PBA MVP said the time has come for Meralco to win that elusive championship as the Bolts dethroned the Beermen for the Philippine Cup crown after completing their six-game conquest on Sunday, June 16.

Hoping to extend the best-of-seven finals to a decider, Fajardo and San Miguel were instead dealt a heartbreaking 80-78 loss in Game 6 at the Araneta Coliseum, where Meralco star Chris Newsome hit the game-winner.

“We should applaud those who deserve applause and congratulate those who deserve congratulations. It hurts but that is life. We’ve won championships, but maybe it is their time now,” said Fajardo in a mix of Filipino and English.

“Maybe this championship is destined for them. Let us congratulate Meralco because they really played well,” he added.

Fajardo put the Beermen on his back in a game where offensive-minded San Miguel bled for scoring as he finished with 21 points on top of 12 rebounds and 5 assists.

He almost sent the game to overtime when he tied the count at 78-78 with 3.3 seconds remaining by draining an unprecedented three-pointer.

The Bolts, though, held their nerve and delivered the killing blow courtesy of a signature baseline jumper from Newsome with 1.3 ticks left.

Getting one last crack at the victory, Fajardo missed his potential game-winning triple at the buzzer.

“We felt we could have won the championship and the series. But it is what it is. That is sports. We should accept when we lose,” said Fajardo, who captured a record-extend 10th Best Player of the Conference plum.

The defeat marked the first time the Beermen lost in an All-Filipino finals since the franchise drafted the 6-foot-10 Fajardo as the No. 1 pick in 2012.

San Miguel won a record five straight Philippine Cup titles from 2015 to 2019, then another one in 2023. The only times the team failed to rule, the All-Filipino tiff saw Fajardo saddled with injuries.

But Fajardo said life goes on.

“We should keep our heads up because it is not the end of the world for us. We have next conference to bounce back,” said Fajardo. – Rappler.com

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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.